Beware: It’s Holy Innocents’ Day — the Filipino April Fools

Holy Innocents’ Day

Watch out: Today (December 28) is Holy Innocents’ Day — the Filipino answer to April Fools’ Day.

Among the popular traditional pranks is to borrow money — with no intention of paying it back. The moment you give the money, the prankster will say: “No hurt feelings, no payback. Remember, it’s Holy Innocents’ Day today!”


Those who are “victims” of Holy Innocents’ Day jokes are advised to laugh it off and stay calm.

According to the New Testament, Holy Innocents’ Day saw the massacre of some 20,000 boys ordered by King Herod. The infamous Biblical leader was said to be furious after he learned that he had been tricked by the Three Kings.

Matthew 2:16-18 reads: “When Herod realised that the visitors (Three Kings) from the East tricked him, he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and neighbourhood who were two years old and young – this was done in accordance with what he had learned from the visitors about the time when the star had appeared. In this way what the prophet Jeremiah had said came true: A sound is heard in Ramah, the sound of bitter weeping. Rachel is crying for her children; she refuses to be comforted for they are dead.”

Matthew also wrote that the Holy Family fled to Egypt after “an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph and said: “Herod will be looking for the child in order to kill him. So get up, take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave.

“Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died. This was done to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, I called my Son out of Egypt.”

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