Day Of The Holy Innocents

It’s a holiday that commemorates the massacre of children by King Herod as he was attempting to find and kill baby Jesus. These children have been immortalized as the first martyrs of the early church, and it has been celebrated as such since before it became a part of Epiphany during the 5th century.

It’s also a holiday that’s celebrated a little bit differently in Mexico. Sure, it’s still observed as a Christian holiday, but it’s also observed as a day for practical jokes — much in the same way that April Fool’s Day is celebrated. Of course, that’s not the only thing that sets this holiday apart from other countries’ celebrations of this day. Let’s take a closer look to find out more.

The History of Day of the Holy Innocents in Mexico

In this section, we’re not going to go over the entire history of the Massacre of the Innocents. We already covered that with our other coverage of this holiday. We will say that it’s based on the story of Herod as told in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 2, verses 1-18 of the Holy Bible.

In that story, King Herod attempted to find the next Messiah, which was foretold by Eastern astrologers. He couldn’t find Jesus, so he decided to kill all boys under the age of two in Bethlehem. Jesus was able to escape this tragic event, according to the story, because an angel issued a warning to his parents, and they fled with him.

In Mexico, this day has been observed as April Fool’s Day because King Herod was “tricked” into believing that he had actually killed Jesus when he had not. As a result, people in Mexico nowadays pull pranks on one another. And that is how one of the most solemn Christian holidays on the calendar is observed in a fun way in Mexico.

Observing Day of the Holy Innocents in Mexico

In Mexico, there’s a popular phrase that’s often recited on this day to people who have been pranked. This phrase is “Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar en este Día de los Inocentes, que en nadie debes confiar.”

This translates roughly to “Innocent dove, you let yourself be fooled on this Day of the Innocents when nobody should be trusted.” It should also be mentioned that if people are loaned money on this day, then they aren’t required to pay it back.

Of course, this holiday isn’t all fun and games in Mexico. There are also serious religious services for the faithful. Priests will often wear red vestments, and many people will enjoy meals after services. On social media, the hashtag #DiaDeLosInocentes can be used to spread the word about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
Mexico (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 28 Saturday
Next year (2025)
December 28 Sunday
Last year (2023)
December 28 Thursday