On December 28, the Day of the Holy Innocents is celebrated in Mexico, a date that is full of practical jokes of all kinds, and which will surely hear the phrase, “¡Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar!”, the phrase screamed when you have successfully pranked someone.
However, the origin of this tradition is in Christianity and it has to do more with a slaughter of infants. According to the Catholic tradition and the Gospel of St. Matthew, it was more than two thousand years ago when King Herod ordered to kill all children under two years old in Bethlehem, Judea, this, with the aim of conserving their power, because Herod sought to ensure that the announced Messiah, future King of Israel, was killed.
That is why the Catholic Church remembers the Holy Innocents every December 28, taking on the name of Day of the Innocent because at that age they could not have committed any sin.
During the Middle Ages this commemoration was combined with another pagan tradition known as the ‘Fiesta de los locos’, a day full of festivities and debauchery, celebrated on the days between Christmas and New Year and finally adapted to the December 28th.
In the Anglo-Saxon countries, as well as in France, Germany, Italy and other countries a similar party is celebrated on April 1 known as ‘Fools’ Day or April Fools Day.
While you might be the victim of a practical joke on December 28th, be aware of anyone who asks to borrow anything. Tradition dictates that if you loan something to a person on December 28th, they are exempt from returning the item to the borrower.
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