April Fool’s Day: How the story of a child massacre ended up being a day of jokes

The BBC News World editorial staff

Photo credit, Getty Images

image caption,

The Massacre of the Innocents, by Lodovico Mazzolino, 1510-1530.

Every December 28, in Spain and Latin America, people prank each other and some media publish fake news on Innocents Day, or Day of the Holy Innocents, as the Catholic Church calls it.

However, this day finds its origin in a very little festive story: the massacre of young children recounted in one of the four Christian gospels, the Gospel of Matthew.

According to the Christian version of this gospel, more than 2,000 years ago, Herod I decided to annihilate all children under the age of two in Bethlehem, with the aim of killing the newborn child: Jesus.

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