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Beware when someone borrows money on Dec 28

by Jericho Zafra

IT’S a prank!

By Filipino Catholic tradition, Pinoys engage in pranks on their friends, such as borrowing money with the aim of not paying it back. 

If someone you know pranked you on December 28 by this common modus, just relax. It’s probably because it’s Holy Innocents’ Day.

There are other tricks aside from borrowing money, too, so you better prepare for a day of kidding around with your friends.

According to biblical records, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, also known as Childermas or Innocents’ Day, is a Christian observance commemorating the slaughter of innocent children in Bethlehem during King Herod the Great’s attempt to assassinate the baby Jesus. This tragedy is also known as the “Massacre of the Holy Innocents.”

The New Testament said Holy Innocents’ Day was the day on which about 20,000 little boys, aged two and younger, were killed.

After finding out that King Herod had been duped by the Three Kings, whom he had asked to pass by at his Palace in Bethlehem so that he would travel with them to view the newborn child who would later become Jesus Christ, he mandated the three Kings to massacre all children.

However, some documents reported that there were no exact numbers of children killed during the bloodbath.

But King Herod’s reason behind the mass killing is to originally murder Baby Jesus, whom he viewed as a threat to his rule.

The Bible said in Matthew 2:16-18: “When Herod realized that the visitors (Three Kings) from the East tricked him, he was furious. He gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and the neighborhood who were two years old and younger – this was done following what he had learned from the visitors about 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.”

It is unknown when the day was initially celebrated as a saint’s day, but the early Christian church considered the children who were killed to be the first martyrs. 

It is possible that it was observed at the same time as the Feast of the Three Kings, but by the fifth century, it had become a separate celebration. In Rome, people observed the day as a day of fasting and mourning, Britannica said in a report.

In countries that practice the Roman Catholic religion, it is a day for children to have fun and celebrate. In honor of the sorrowful mothers of Bethlehem, some churches skip both the Gloria and the Alleluia of the mass during the celebration of Christmas, except if the holiday falls on a Sunday, it said.

In the Philippines, the feast of Holy Innocents’ Day is traditionally celebrated at the Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Baguio City.

This year, the church will celebrate the feast day with various youthful activities, including community art jams, dancing, a bazaar, and fiesta-themed parlor games.



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