The fourth day of Christmas is the Feast of the Holy Innocents also called Childermas or Innocent’s Day.  The earliest recording of the celebration of this feast is 485 AD when mentioned as following the feasts of St. Stephen and St. John.   It is held in remembrance of the children who were put to death by King Herod following his decree that all male infants in Bethlehem aged two and under be killed. This was Herod’s attempt to destroy the Christ child after the Wise Men seeking “the newborn king of the Jews” did not return to tell him where the child could be found.

The children are remembered during the Christmas season as they lost their lives because of Herod’s hatred and fear of the Christ child and they are considered martyrs.    Indeed Christmas joy is tempered today by this sadness yet the loss of their innocent lives reminds us of the preciousness of all life, especially those of children.

This day is considered a day for children.  Tradition has it as a day to bless your children for protection and intercede for the protection of all children especially those in danger.  Some traditions have the youngest child become “king” for the day and as such rules the day by making decisions about what to eat or what activities to do.  Another tradition is to serve soft food as infants would eat and to serve a food red in color which is usually a dessert in remembrance of the children whose lives were lost.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me…

...four calling birds

~four calling birds…




Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

~An Old Irish Blessing~

Marian McCoy Boveri


Day 1:  Copyright: <a href=’’>eireann / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Day 2:  Copyright: <a href=’’>eireann / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Day 3:  Copyright: <a href=’’>eireann / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Day 4:  Copyright: <a href=’’>eireann / 123RF Stock Photo</a>