After a rather challenging year we couldn’t imagine a better way to inaugurate our Spanish festivities and customs blog than with a post about the Holy Innocents’ day that could make us laugh a little.
The 28th of December is a significant day for many Hispanic countries, the Holy Innocents’ day. During this day, the television, the press, friends and family only have one main mission, to trick you into something funny, let’s be honest, they will do everything to pull your leg and make you look like a fool.
Within friends and family, it is quite frequent to make practical jokes, usually innocent pranks, to each other until the victim realises what day of the year it is. For example, stick a paper figure (monigote) to their back, swap sugar with salt, buy a fake spider or call your aunt as if you were a shopkeeper telling her that the seven turkeys she ordered for her New Year’s eve dinner are ready to be picked up and paid for at the local supermarket.
The press and various tv channels also create fake news. With the power of the internet this has become even more entertaining as people participate through social media comments and make the news spread like wildfire.
Every 28th of December in Spain, there is a fundraising gala on the television where famous actors, singers, sportsman and celebrities participate to raise money for a good cause. The gala is called Inocente, inocente! This is the phrase people say when the victims of the joke realise that they have been tricked and that it was the 28th of December. (it is also said to finish the joke when the victim does not realise that he has been pranked and the joke starts to become uncomfortable)
The origin of this celebration is somewhat confusing as it may have religious and pagan roots at the same time. From one side it is believed that the feast is meant to commemorate the children who were killed by Herodes I when Jesus was born. However, this possible origin does not explain the incorporation of jokes to the celebration. Therefore, it is also believed that the celebration may be part of the Saturnales, a feast observed by pagans in honour to Saturn, where family and friends gave gifts to each other and where masters and slaves exchanged their roles for a day.
Whatever its origin may be, important is that we still celebrate it and that it is an opportunity for us to have a good time together with our family, friends and children.
Should you wish to learn more about the festivity you may watch this year’s gala Inocente, inocente where the motto is “Helping others helps you” (Ayudar te ayuda). The money raised this year shall be donated to families with economic difficulties at the verge of poverty. It is going to be broadcasted on the 28th December at 10pm CET. Follow the link for further details.