Ah, April’s fools day… the day when most American people engage in unwelcome games of prankishness and rascality to the delight of some… and the chagrin of most.
If you happen to know someone from Spain or Latin America, you are well advised to save your favorite prank until next December. The 28th, to be exact. Our very own version of this holiday is known as “Día de los Santos Inocentes” (“Innocent Saints Day”).
Like most of our non-patriotic holidays, this one is based on, you guessed it, Catholicism. This day was once dedicated to mourning the innocent children slaughtered by King Herod in order to get rid of baby Jesus.
Today, much like April’s fools day here, this holiday has taken on a lighter, mischievous tone, and the jokes go from the childish to the extremely elaborate. Your friends may borrow money with the intention of not paying it back. Your waitress may serve you coffee with salt instead of sugar. Newspapers, Radio and TV stations broadcast some outrageous, absurd but totally believable news. Even municipal governments have been known to stage baffling practical jokes on their unsuspecting citizens, such as blackouts or cutting off water services for a couple of hours.
So, there you have it, a holiday that has made quite an evolution: from mourning the massacre of infants to tricking people out of their money and calling them “inocente palomita” (innocent pigeon)… All clean, innocent fun, huh?
© 2009 Elianne Ramos. All Rights Reserved.