April Fool’s Day: Unveiling the Link With the Latin American
April Fool’s Day: Unveiling the Link With the Latin American Tradition of “Día de los Inocentes” Freepik

April Fool's Day, marked by jokes at work, school, or home, differs from "Día de los Santos Inocentes," a popular prank day in Latin America, which holds special significance as the U.S. Latino population grows to 20%

Tricks, and hoaxes are flooding social media this Monday April 1, ranging from simple jokes like swapping sugar for salt to more sophisticated pranks, along with the latest creative inventions from the advertising sector.

Some of the most popular pranks in April Fool's Day's history include one carried out in an airport in Los Angeles on April 1, 1992, where airline passengers were received with a banner saying "Welcome to Chicago", CBS Sunday Morning recalls.

The origins of this celebration, also known as All Fool's Day are uncertain. However, many believe it could date back to Medieval times, particularly in France. In 1582, the European country adopted the Gregorian calendar, shifting the start of the New Year from the spring equinox, typically around April 1, to January 1.

This change, as reported by the History Channel and cited by CBS News, led to continued celebrations of the new year in late March and early April for some. These individuals were dubbed "April fools" by some historians.

April Fool's Day is not celebrated in most places in Latin America, where the most similar event is "Día de los Santos Inocentes," observed on December 28th.

"Día de los Inocentes" takes place on December 28th.
"Día de los Inocentes" takes place on December 28th. Freepik

This event, also known for playing jokes among friends, has its roots in a story from the Bible, recounting the tragic episode of the massacre of infants under two years old in Bethlehem. It was ordered by King Herod the Great of Judea in an attempt to eliminate the perceived threat posed by the infant Jesus of Nazareth.

As time passed, the significance of this date evolved, with altar boys initiating the tradition of playful pranks on this day, gradually spreading the custom from one family to another.

The Catholic Church commemorates this event on December 28th, but according to the Gospel of Matthew, the massacre of the children occurred after the visit of the Magi to the king, so it should be after January 6th.

However, "Día de los Santos Inocentes" is predominantly observed on December 28th in Spanish-speaking regions, including Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

For many, this is the real origin of Fool's Day, celebrated on April 1 in Australia, the U.S., the United Kingdom, Italy ("Pesce d´aprile") and Portugal ("Day of the Lie").

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