Holy Innocents Day

Observed on December 28th in Western churches, Holy Innocent’s Day is a holiday that commemorates the innocent execution of children as described in Matthew 2:16. In the King James Version of the Bible in Matthew 2:16, Herod slew all of the children in Bethlehem in an attempt to kill baby Jesus. This event is known as the Massacre of the Innocents. Although this holiday is observed on December 28th in Western churches, it’s observed on December 29th in Eastern churches. 

The Massacre Of The Innocents

According to the biblical story, when the Magi head to Jerusalem to find out where the king of the Jews had been born, Herod sends them to Bethlehem and asks them if they would report on what they see. However, the Magi are given a warning in a dream and choose not to do so. When Herod finds out that the Magi had outwitted and defied him, he gave orders for all boys in Bethlehem who are 2-years or younger to be executed. 

The History Of Holy Innocent’s Day

Holy Innocent’s Day is a holiday that appears as a feast in the Western Church in the Leonine Sacramentary as the first Christian martyrs during the end of the 5th century. Most of the early commemorations were connected to the Feast of the Epiphany, which is held on January 6th. During modern times, the celebration of this holiday varies. For those in the Maronite Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church, it’s held on December 27th. In the Festival of the Church of England, the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, and the Lutheran Church, it’s observed on December 28th. The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates the feast on December 29th. 

Observing Holy Innocent’s Day

In some customs, Holy Innocents Day is a holiday on which the youngest child is given the power to rule the household—just for the day, of course. This includes deciding what to eat, what to do, and where to go on this day. In Mexico, it’s a day on which children play practical jokes on their elders. This is also a holiday that’s observed as a religious feast day in Roman Catholic countries. People can use the hashtag #HolyInnocentsDay on their social media accounts to spread the word about this holiday as well. 

Where is Holy Innocents Day celebrated?

There is no specific location where this holiday is celebrated.
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