April Fool’s Day: how the story of a massacre of children ended up being a day for pranks

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image source, Getty Images

Caption,

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

Every December 28 in Spain and Latin America, people play pranks on each other and some media outlets publish false news for April Fools’ Day, or the Day of the Innocent Saints, as the Catholic Church calls it.

However, this day has its origin in a very unholy story: the killing of small children recorded in one of the four Christian gospels, that of Matthew.

According to the Christian version contained in 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 Jesus.

Apparently, he made this decision after hearing the story of some “wizards from the East”, who warned him that an infant had just been born who would be the king of the Jews and consequently would endanger his reign.

April Fool’s Day: how the story of a massacre of children ended up being a day for pranks – BBC News world