Holy Innocents

In Matthew 2:16-18 there is a description of how King Herod ordered the execution of all young males, because he did not want to lose his throne to the


King of the Jews that was rumoured to be a baby boy at the time.  This event is only mentioned in one other antique document, and there is a suspicion that the story is not based on real events.

However, this does not prevent Christians from celebrating the day.

The belief is that the day is a very unlucky day, especially to begin any important work on.  This day was regarded as particulary unlucky for fishermen, and Cornish housewives (from the south west of England) would not wash clothes or do any scrubbing or cleaning on the day.

Many communities marked the day with muffled peals on the church bells.  Some people even believed that the bad luck would extend to that day of the week for the entire next year, e.g. if the day falls on a Wednesday then every Wednesday for a year will be a bad day.

The lighter side is that in some churches children were indulged with activities like playing in the church, treats and parties.

Last modified on Monday, 27 January 2014 20:52

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