Día de los Santos Inocentes

December 28 is variously called Childermas, Bairn’s Day (Scottish for child) or Día de los Santos Inocentes and commemorates Herod’s Slaughter of the Innocents related in Mathew 2. Throughout the Spanish-speaking world, it is a day to play pranks similar to April Fool’s Day in the Anglosphere.

The incident is not related outside of the Gospel of Matthew, and it is not mentioned by Josephus. Some regard it as creative hagiography, most historians agree, that it is historically possible.

Herod had done massacres before. Others argue that based on the estimated population of Bethlehem at the time (1,000) that the largest number of infants that could have been killed would have been about 20–not on a scale to match the spectacular assassinations attributed to the day.

Perhaps because it is such dramatic picture of pride, power, and violence the incident is often portrayed in art and literature.

 
 Detail from The Massacre of the Innocents by Lucas Cranch the Elder (c. 1515) from the National Museum in Warsaw.

Detail from The Massacre of the Innocents by Lucas Cranch the Elder (c. 1515) from the National Museum in Warsaw.

These posts are true to the best of my knowledge at the time of writing. I make no claims as to their accuracy. The purpose is to inform, educate, amuse, and make people aware of causes and opportunities around the world. I also encourage civil debate in the comment section.

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