14 | DIC | 2019
The dark origins of Holy Innocents Day
As years have gone by, the popular tradition has been turned it into a holiday when people play pranks on each other - Photo: Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

The dark origins of Holy Innocents Day

28/12/2018
15:07
Notimex
Mexico City
-A +A
It is customary to make all sorts of pranks during this day in Spain and Latin America

The Holy Innocents Day is celebrated on December 28, and despite its religious and tragic origins, it is customary to make all sorts of pranks during this day in Spain, Hispanic America, and the Philippines.

Its origin dates back more than 2,000 years. According to the legend, King Herod ordered to kill all children under the age of two who were born in Bethlehem.

In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, Saint Matthew tells that on this date, Herod sought to make sure that the coming Messiah, future king of Israel, was murdered. Ever since, the Catholic church commemorates the Feast of the Holy Innocents every December 28 to remember and reflect upon the tragic event.

However, as years have gone by, the popular tradition has also been turned it into a holiday when people play pranks on each other as a sort of parody for the “innocent children,” who are usually unaware of their environment and don’t understand what happens to them.

Though the day of mourning remains among Catholics, during the middle ages, the commemoration was combined with a pagan rite known as the “Feast of Fools,” celebrated in the days leading up to New Year’s Eve.

These parties were so boisterous that the Catholic Church, in an attempt to appease the eccentricities of its participants, decided to celebrate the Holy Innocents Day, thus turning it into a pagan-religious tradition.

The fusion of history, religion, and paganism led to a series of celebrations in many religions of the world which feature costumes, folk music, and communities gathering to celebrate.

In English speaking countries, a similar celebration takes place on April first, also known as April Fools Day.

The Feast of Fools, which was mainly celebrated on January 1 in France to commemorate the donkey on which Jesus rode during Palm Sunday when arriving in Jerusalem, is also considered a precursor of the Holy Innocents Day.

During this date, in Mexico, people usually borrow money or personal items, and once they manage to have people lend them things, they jokingly withhold them and say “¡Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar!” which roughly translates to: “I fooled you, you innocent dove!”

Some newspapers also publish articles with misleading pictures or information as pranks.
 

Artículo

Christmas cheer at Jesus's traditional birthplace of Bethlehem

The Palestinian town in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is enjoying its busiest Christmas in years, with hotels nearly fully booked and the security situation relatively calm
Christmas cheer at Jesus's traditional birthplace of BethlehemChristmas cheer at Jesus's traditional birthplace of Bethlehem

dm
 

Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal