QCOSTARICA – If someone plays a joke on you today, don’t be surprised, for today is El Día de los Inocentes, a day to play practical jokes or pranks on people, equivalent to April Fool’s Day in many countries.
In Spain and in most of Latin America including Costa Rica, on December 28 no one is safe from being made a fool of on this day.
Even the media like newspapers, radio, and TV often give fake content or distort news to make it seem real. All of this is funny, as long as you are not the innocent fool.
Pranks are known as inocentadas and their victims are called inocentes. In Spanish the phrase “Pasar por inocente” is when someone plays a joke on you, especially on this day.
The history of Dia de Los Inocentes dates back some 2000 years. This day is very different in modern times than when it was conceived.
Originally, it was a religious holiday to honor the male children 2 years old and younger who were ordered slaughtered by King Herod around the time of Jesus’ birth.
These young victims were called Santos Inocentes or “Holy Innocents” because they were too young and innocent to have committed any sins.
It is said that during the Middle Ages, pagan rites were introduced into the celebration that came to be known as the “Celebration of the Crazy People” (el Dia de Los Locos) which took place between Christmas and New Year.
At that time a new tradition began that combined the underlying pagan sentiment and the light-hearted Christian monks teachings with the main purpose being to pull all types of pranks on unsuspecting family and friends.
Although it remains on the Catholic Liturgical calendar, nowadays the religious aspect has been almost forgotten and the most common way to celebrate is by playing jokes on people.
With notes from Live in Costa Rica Blog