The Day of the Innocents is a holiday celebrated shortly after Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, and it is a day to honor the innocent children, all younger than 3 years of age, killed by the biblical King Herod, who slaughtered these children in an attempt to prevent Christ from taking his throne.
A common event celebrating the Day of Holy Innocents, is the Festival of Masks, celebrated in places such as Hatillo, Puerto Rico. Settlers from the Canary Islands first brought this tradition to Puerto Rico in 1823.
Men and women, old and young, dress in full costumes with the goal of acting as King Herod’s soldiers. They also decorate vehicles and floats, and they will run and ride through the towns in search of the innocent children to joke and play with them.