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Could be a joke – but is it?

The Massacre of the Innocents by Giotto. 1304-...

Image via Wikipedia

We were looking for something about the origins of Holy Innocents’ Day, celebrated in Spain today as a similar holiday to April Fool’s Day with practical jokes both between friends and in the media (more about that later).

Instead of fun and games, we found this description from one of the many paintings inspired by the day:

Herod, the king of Judaea, watches as his soldiers slaughter the innocent children of Bethlehem in an attempt to kill the infant Jesus, whom Herod feared would eventually seize his kingdom. According to Boccaccio, 144,000 children were murdered. (from The Getty Museum)

Wikipedia explains that the day is celebrated somewhere between the 27th and 29th of December, depending on the region:

In Spain and Hispanic America, December 28 is a day for pranks, equivalent to April Fool’s Day in many countries. Pranks are known as inocentadas and their victims are called inocentes, or alternatively, the pranksters are the “inocentes” and the victims should not be angry at them, since they could not have committed any sin. Various Catholic countries had a tradition (no longer widely observed) of role reversal between children and their adult educators, including boy bishops, perhaps a Christianized version of the Roman annual feast of the Saturnalia (when even slaves played ‘masters’ for a day). In some cultures it is said to be an unlucky day, when no new project should be started.

So far, so depressing 😦

So what’s happening today? Even though it is more and more difficult to separate the real news from the invented stories, the front page of EL PAIS has a great story about 2 tonnes of cocaine hidden in a cargo of 47,000 kilos of flowers from Colombia. It could well be true… Elsewhere, LA VANGUARDIA reports on a new French initiative for on-line dating according to political colours – as you can see, the website Gauche-rencontre.com does exist, so maybe that’s not a joke either…

Or how about this one?

Well, now it’s up to you. Happy hunting for that inocentada! Let us know what you find 😉

Strange Random Christmas Quote:
I do like Christmas on the whole…. In its clumsy way, it does approach Peace and Goodwill. But it is clumsier every year.  – E.M. Forster

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  1. January 5, 2010 at 9:11 am

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