HOLY INNOCENTS' DAY, or Spanish all fools' day
In Spain, the equivalent of All Fools' Day is “Día de los Santos Inocentes”, which takes place in the middle of the long Christmas season (Spanish Navidad runs all the way through to 6 January, the Epiphany). On 28 December it’s your turn to play your favourite jokes on friends and family!
The history of the day is based on the Bible passage (Matthew 2:16-18) telling about when King Herod heard that a new King of the Jews had been born (Jesus). Concerned about this threat to his power, Herod ordered all infant boys under the age of two in Bethlehem and its vicinity to be killed. The day was named for the many innocent souls that were lost that night.
Today, the atmosphere of the celebration is festive and fun, with people playing jokes and pranks on each other - perfectly in line with the healthy Andalucian sense of humour! The most traditional joke is to put a puppet or paper cut-out on people’s backs - they are the inocentadas, which means ‘practical jokes' as well as ‘innocents’ in Spanish .
Even the media joins in, reporting on fake news stories in the newspapers and on TV and the internet.