The Fool’s day in Spain

Inocente alargado

The Fool’s day in Spain

Maybe someone in your family or in your job pulled your leg today or maybe one free tour company like Leaf Madrid made you believe that Madrid was going to change its emblem and after that you wondered…What is happening today with the world? Why is everyone so funny? Today is the “ fool’s day ” in Spain!

In some regions of the world it is celebrated is April, but in Spain and in Center and South America it is celebrated on the 28th of December and we called it in a different way: “The Innocents Day”. Why? Let’s go with the story.

Despite nowadays this day symbolizes jokes and funny moments the origin of this day is dark and cruel. To understand it is neccesary to travel 2017 years back in history and go into a  historical event of the Christian faith. It was Herodes’ times and he ruled Judah as a vassal of Rome with heavy hand. He was afraid of someone trying to overthrew him, so to keep things under control he ruled his domains this way. He even executed her wife and sons for this same reason.

Under this government Jesus was borned in Bethlehem. As soon as this happened 3 Wise Men went to Jerusalem from the Orient following a star that show them the way to find to the “New King of the Jews”. As soon as this notice went into Herodes ears he saw in this prophecy a dangerous threaten to his throne, so he ask the 3 Wise Men to please tell him where to find the baby to show him his respects. They just tell him that the star set the place in Bethlehem. Herodes ask them for the exact location once they knew it. After that encounter they set their path to Bethlehem and there they finally find the house where the baby was. He was with his mother so they give him the gifts they brought from Orient which were: gold, incense and myrrh (maybe this story sounds to you). They spent a while together and after doing it they changed their mind. They decided not to tell Herodes where the baby was to protect him from the future reprisals, so they just left Belem and went back to their homeland.

It was then when Herodes came into action and angry for the cheat he ordered his militars to go to Bethlehem to kill all the children whose age was 2 or under 2. Despite his cruelty Herodes didn’t succed as the little baby was able to scape and survive. In this way Herodes past to history like one of the most bloodthirsty kings and this day became known like the Saint Innocent day.



Peter_Paul_Rubens_Massacre_of_the_Innocents – Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto- Canadá


But nowadays, far from its dark origin this day reflects happiness and fun as everyone takes the child inside out turning this day into the day of the jokes. The most famous in Spain consist of putting a paper doll in the back. But you should be careful because there is people who spends the whole year preparing the joke for this day! So be careful that still some hours remain and you can be the target!


Be careful also with lending money. Everyday is dangerous to do it, but specially on this day and specially in some parts of Center and South America, as there is a saying that says:

“Herodes mandó a Pilatos, Pilatos mandó a su gente; el que presta en este día pasará por inocente”

“Herodes ordered to Pilatos, Pilatos to his servers, who lends money on this day will become and innocent” It makes no rhyme at all in English but in Spanish it is quite funny. It basically means that you can say good bye to your money forever.

We hope you enjoyed the post of this week! You can now rest assure, Madrid is not going to change its emblem, we really love our Bear. But maybe you would like to know that this bear is not just a normal bear, it has a beautiful secret hidden inside. If you want to Discover it come with Us and try our free walking Tour Feeling Madrid! You can find it here:

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