They explained that they were looking for the future king of Israel, the Messiah, announced in the Old Testament, who had just been born as demonstrated by the appearance of a new star in the sky. Nowadays, people often attend churches in which the priest say a prayer called the Blessing of the Children; in Mexico, it is celebrated with pranks – much in the same way that April Fools Day is celebrated. Holy Innocents – also known as Childermas, Innocents’ Day and Feast of the Holy Innocents – is a holiday which falls on different days in the Western and Eastern Christian churches. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience possible. Day of the Holy Innocents The Day of the Innocents is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and several Hispanic countries as well as the Philippines. Betsy Karkan. It is the only feast day of the Church Kalendar when the color is purple. The murder of the Holy Innocents, celebrated within the octave of Christmas, punctuates what is normally thought of as a cheerful season with a particular note of deep sadness (even considering the other martyrs celebrated during this period). The … Unable to find Jesus, Herod became enraged and ordered all of the boys under the age of two in Bethlehem to be put to death. All text and image content copyrighted by HolidaysCalendar.com. If on the one hand we are used to playing tricks on our friends, family or co-workers, making them see that they have been “fools”, on the other hand the origin of this tradition is very cruel since it is based on a tragedy that goes back more than 2,000 years. However, it wasn’t celebrated as its own feast day but was instead a part of the Feast of the Epiphany and was celebrated in January. You can read more about it. and proclaimed on this day, not by speaking but by dying, grant, we pray, that the faith in you which we confess with our lips. This day commemorates the baby boys who were murdered by an order of King Herod. In modern times, it has been known as Holy Innocent’s Day, Childermas, Children’s Mass and Innocents’ Day. These children have been regarded as the first martyrs of the early church and has been celebrated way before the fifth century when it was celebrated as a part of Epiphany. These jokes are not too serious and are made with the intention of having a good time together. Tie a bill to a string and pull it out when the “victim” tries to grab it, Paste a ticket with a funny message on someone’s back without them noticing. Let’s discover the origins of this celebration considered a pagan-religious tradition and how it is celebrated in the world. Despite this fact they were put to death due to Christ's coming into the world. They slaughter all the male children in the town and surrounding region who are under two years of age. Today, however, that practice has fortunately died out for the most part. However, it wasn’t celebrated as its own feast day but was instead a part of the Feast of the Epiphany and was celebrated in January. Prior to the 17th century, it was customary to spank your children at sunrise on Holy Innocents to remind them of the suffering the innocents of Bethlehem had to endure. The Holy Innocents Day (Día de los Inocentes), also known as “Childermass,” is celebrated every year on December 28th. However, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, set for December 28, is not out of place. Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs. December 28 is the feast of the Holy Innocents, the feast for all babies. However, the child managed to survive because his family escaped in time. However, it is a tradition of more than 2 thousand years ago, with a rather tragic origin. Day of the Holy Innocents is not a public holiday. As they did on Halloween, groups of children in towns all around Spain used to go from house to house asking for candy or cookies, making noise with spoons and anise bottles, and singing traditional Christmas songs. How Holy Innocents Day Was Celebrated. Holy Innocents Day. Holy Innocents In Mexico — as well as Spain and other Latin American countries — December 28 is the equivalent of April Fool’s Day. A world turned upside down to protest against the harsh situation imposed by the church. Saint Stephen was able to face martyrdom through his acceptance of the Christian faith. On December 28th, the day of the Holy Innocents is celebrated in Spain and in South America. Herod asked the Three Men to indicate the place where the Messiah would be born, but they did not do so. Roger J. Landry St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA Feast of the Holy Innocents December 28, 2013 1 John 1:5-2:2, Ps 124, Mt 2:13-18 To listen to an audio recording of this homily, please click here: The following points were attempted in the homily: Today’s feast of the Holy Innocents … may also speak through our manner of life. The feast is observed by Western churches on December 28 and in the Eastern churches on December 29. But what is it about? A poem to the Holy Innocents can be found in Christmas-tide Poetry of John Keble. It was celebrated on the days between Christmas and New Year. However, they received a warning from an angel that told him to avoid Herod, which they did. Year. It was a kind of carnival in which people dressed up and there was music and a lot of food. The Three Wise Men went to visit him in Jerusalem, according to the Gospel of St. Matthew. The typical jokes that are played on that day are innocent tricks such as telling lies to friends and family or publishing false news in the media. Today is the “octave day” of the feast of the Holy Innocents. This day is unlike the Feast of Saint Stephen which was celebrated on Wednesday. Eventually, sometime after the 5th century, it became decoupled from Epiphany and became its own feast day. It commemorates the massacre of male children in Bethlehem when King Herod ordered the execution of male toddlers under 2 years old. Although the mood … History and Celebrations for the Feast of the Holy Innocents Read More » Take a look at the calendar. "The Masks of Hatillo" is a 184 year old tradition in which inhabitants dress themselves in color as part of the celebration of the Masks Festival. Jesus was then able to escape to Egypt. Holy Innocents is the often-overlooked feast day of the church calendar on December 28 th that commemorates the slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem following the birth of Jesus. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The Catholic Church regards them as the first Christian martyrs, and their feast – Holy Innocents Day – is celebrated on 28 December. In addition, throughout the peninsula “battles” are held with eggs (in Fraga -Huesca) and with flour (in Ibi-Alicante), young people dress up and participate in the Dance of the Crazy (in Jalance-Valencia). Celebrated mainly in France, England, Germany and Italy, this festival was even represented by Victor Hugo in Nôtre Dame de Paris. In this story, Herod was a king of Judea that was very unliked by his people because he was indifferent to religion and had connections with the Roman Empire. Celebrate the Day of Holy Innocents Mexicans play jokes and pranks to trick friends and family members on December 28, which is similar to April Fool’s Day. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy … Up until 1962, priests in the Roman Catholic church would wear violet vestments for this holiday. All rights reserved. Like many other religious traditions, also the Day of the Holy Innocents was merged with a pagan rite in the Middle Ages. In modern times, it has been known as Holy Innocent’s Day, Childermas, Children’s Mass and Innoc… In the New Testament, the Massacre of the Innocents is the incident in the nativity narrative of the Gospel of Matthew in which Herod the Great, king of Judea, orders the execution of all male children two years old and under in the vicinity of Bethlehem. The media also get involved by reporting news that is too ridiculous or funny to be true, all in good fun. Although it may seem irreverent, jokes of all kinds are played on the innocents. However, it was changed to red vestments during that year. Herod told them they should report back to him when they found him, so he too could pay homage to the newborn king. Throughout the centuries, the pagan tradition was removing the tragic aspect to date to become it the “Day of the Holy Innocents”. The Day of the Holy Innocents since the Middle Ages Like many other religious traditions, also the Day of the Holy Innocents was merged with a pagan rite in the Middle Ages. Christianity, began to celebrate this day to commemorate the death of children who were murdered by order of King Herod I the Great. In most Spanish-speaking countries, Dec. 28 is observed as the Día de los Santos Inocentes, or the Day of the Holy Innocents, commemorating the Biblical story of King Herod killing babies in Bethlehem. Tel: +34 986 86 81 55 Normally, purple is used for fasts, not feasts; but because of the sorrow of this day, when we do commemorate martyrs, but martyrs “in deed not in will,” purple seems like an authentic choice. Also, behaviors unacceptable on other dates were allowed. They must escape with their newborn from Herod, who wants to kill Jesus. Every 28th of December, Latin America commemorates this date as an opportunity to play tricks on the naive ones. The Holy Innocents were mere children and thus unable to accept the faith for themselves. In Western churches, it is celebrated on December 28th and in Eastern churches, it is celebrated on December 29th. These astrologers found Jesus, the newborn king, and offered up their gifts to him. The day is observed in some areas much like April Fools' Day is … On the feast of the Holy Innocents—also known as Childermas—we Catholics remember the day on which children in Bethlehem were massacred shortly after the birth of Jesus. Among the most common ones we find: All over Spain this party is celebrated in original ways and, during the Innocent Gala, funds are raised for children’s organizations. Businesses have […] Nowadays the jokes are more “childish” and this tradition has spread almost all over the world, although in countries like Germany, France, Italy, United States, United Kingdom, Brazil and Canada it is celebrated on April 1st under the name of All Fools’ Day. Angry and not wanting to lose his power, the king sent an army of soldiers to Bethlehem. Holy Innocents Day is celebrated on December 28th. He ordered them to kill all children under the age of two, so to be sure that the newborn, Jesus of Nazareth, and future king of Israel, would die. During the octave of Christmas, there are many special feasts that the Church gives us to celebrate! The Latins keep it on December 28, the Greeks on December 29, the Syrians and Chaldeans on December 27. by Deac. A certain similarity in the anti-conformist and evasive character of this festival is found in some celebrations of Ancient Greece and Rome. This holiday has been practiced in different ways by different people all throughout history. Herod's soldiers arrive in Bethlehem after the Holy Family has departed. Feast of the Holy Innocents, also called Childermas or Innocents’ Day, Christian feast in remembrance of the massacre of young children in Bethlehem by King Herod the Great in his attempt to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:16–18). The following Monday marks the Holy Innocents, those babies of Bethlehem killed by the caprice of a tyrant. It is celebrated on December 27th in the Maronite Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church; on December 28th in the Church of England, the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church; and on January 10th in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. King Herod wanted the child Jesus, a threat to his kingship, dead, so he ordered all males under the age of two to be killed. Holy Innocents as a holiday can be traced back to the year 485 A.D when it was celebrated as a feast day in the Western Church, or more specifically in the Leonine Sacramentary. The purpose of this holiday is to commemorate the massacre of children by King Herod as he was attempting to kill baby Jesus. Eventually, sometime after the 5th century, it became decoupled from Epiphany and became its own feast day. Many researchers believe that this is a legend and that this tragic episode never happened since this fact is only mentioned in one of the gospels and in no other text of the time. However, by the fifth century, it had become a separate festival and eventually became a saint’s day. Otherwise called the Feast of the Holy Innocents (and referred to as Childermas) refers to King Herod’s order found in Matthew’s account of the king’s … O God, whom the Holy Innocents confessed. December 28, 2019 Holy Innocents, Martyrs—Feast ... Today on the fourth day of the Octave of Christmas, we are given a similar witness to the one we received on December 26, the Feast of the Martyrdom of St. Stephen. The name of this celebration, Holy Innocents, is due to the young age of these children who could not have committed any sin. After the Magi did not return to King Herod, he was furious! Then one day, Eastern astrologers came to him and asked him about the whereabouts of the “newborn king of the Jews.” They were told that Jewish Scriptures named Bethlehem as the place in which the next Messiah would be born, and having seen this king’s star, decided to pay him homage. If you want to know about other traditions celebrated at this time of year, don’t miss this article. The story of Herod is told in the Book of Matthew Chapter 2, verses 1 through 18. Celebrate the Day of Holy Innocents Mexicans play jokes and pranks to trick friends and family members on December 28, which is similar to April Fool’s Day. Holy Innocents' Day, observed on December 28, mourns this act of cruelty. Celebrated annually on December 28th the Holy Innocent Day is observed by Christians to remember the loss of the innocent male children who were executed in Bethlehem according to the Biblical narrative in the book of Matthew. One of them, December 28, is the feast of the Holy Innocents. We commemorate it that feast again on this, the eight day. It was a kind of carnival in which people dressed up and there was music and a lot of food. This is a charity event that has been held since 1995. 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