The Día de los Santos Inocentes (Day of the Holy Innocents) is the Spanish speaking world’s equivalent to the April Fool’s day. This day is a religious holiday named in honour of the young children who were slaughtered by order of King Herod around the time of Jesus’ birth (Matthew 2:16-18). These young victims were called ‘Santos Inocentes’ (Holy Innocents) because they were too young and innocent to have committed any sins.
Although the feast remains on the Catholic Liturgical calendar, today the religious aspect has been almost forgotten and the pranks that became popular during the Middle Ages have been combined with winter festivities of pagan origin. In today’s Spanish – and Mallorcan – newspapers you will find all sorts of invented news and misleading information. The local youth will play practical jokes or mischievous acts amongst themselves. If you are young enough you may find yourself the victim of such a prank. Watch out.
The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. The date: November 21st, 2008. The time: 12:12:50. The painting is credited to Duccio di Buoninsegna (Italy, ca.1255-1319).