Childermas Day


Holy Innocents' or Childermas Day has been observed from very early in the history of the Church in commemoration of the slaughter of the children of Bethlehem by order of Herod, and in bygone times some of the horrors of the massacre were re-enacted in many households in the form of a smart whipping administered to the juvenile members of the family. Long ago the learned Gregory wrote: "It hath been a custom, and yet is, to whip up the children upon Innocents' Day morning, that the memory of Herod's murder of the innocents might stick the closer, and in a moderate proportion to act over the cruelties in kind." Considering the nature of the tragic events commemorated it is not surprising that Childermas has long borne the reputation of being the unluckiest day of the whole year.

The Irish Times,

December 28th, 1928.