IF you leapt out of bed this morning with a gleeful smile on your face, a spring in your step and the temptation to prank your pals, we have some bad news for you.

The minor holiday of April Fools’ Day, well known and beloved by Brits, will only get you blank stares in Spain.

Seriously, just try yelling ´Tontos de abril!´at your Spanish friends and you´ll be met with a puzzled response.

But Spaniards do have a similar tradition that takes plac on December 28, known as Day of the Innocents.

It is celebrated throughout Spain, in much the same way as April Fools Day is celebrated in other countries.

But when the prankster is ready to reveal the joke, they say Inocente,meaning innocent one.

Els Enfarinats after an egg and flour battle to celebrate Dia de los Innocentes

According to the Gospel of Matthew in the Bible, the idea is based on King Herod being ´duped´by Mary and Joseph.

The royal order that all boys under the age of two in Bethlehem be killed because he was afraid that the baby Jesus born there would become a rival.

As it turned out, though, the baby Jesus had been taken away to Egypt by Mary and Joseph. So the “joke” was on Herod, and thus followed the tradition of tricking friends on that day.

But Ibi in Alicante take the day even further.

Els Enfarinats Ibi Spain
Els Enfarinats, Ibi, Spain

Here they celebrate Els Enfarinats with a a truly egg-cellent festival, where participants combat with flour and eggs, creating a foggy mist of flour clouds throughout the streets.

The festival has been taking place for two centuries, imitating a mock coup d’etat as the army, named Els Enfarinats, advance on the town every December 28th.

They invade the streets, collecting taxes from the residents who are then shelled with eggs and flour.

The aftermath resembles that of a volcanic eruption, and while the debris evolves into the beginnings of a pancake mix, the participants flee to attempt to breathe without flour intoxication.

All is well in the end, though, as the ‘taxes’ collected are pooled to be given to a designated charity.


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