from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. a day to commemorate the killing of the Holy Innocents. Variously held on 28th December in the Western Church and 29th December in the Eastern Church. In Spanish speaking countries this is often a prank filled day like April Fools' Day.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The popular name of Holy Innocents' day, a feast-day observed in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches on the 28th of December in commemoration of the slaughter of the children in and near Bethlehem by order of Herod soon after the birth of Christ, as narrated in Mat. ii. 16-18. Also Childermas day.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

childer (“children”) +‎ -mas


  • Four days from now, December 27th it will be Childermas—the Feast of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem.

    Putting the Mass back in Christmas

  • Today is Childermas, the commemoration of the innocent male children of Bethlehem who were slaughtered in Herod's attempt to prevent the Magi's words about this newborn "King of Israel" from coming true.

    Archive 2005-12-01

  • Childermas and she prayed to God the Allruthful to have his dear soul in his undeathliness.


  • Revels, it is ordered that the King of Cockneys, on Childermas Day, should sit and have due service, and "that Jack Straw, and all his adherents, should be thenceforth utterly banished, and no more to be used in this house, upon pain to forfeit for every time five pounds, to be levied on every fellow hapning to offend against this rule."

    Christmas: Its Origin and Associations Together with Its Historical Events and Festive Celebrations During Nineteen Centuries

  • The statutes of Dean Colet for the government of his school enjoin that "all the children shall every Childermas Day come to Paule's Churche, and heare the chylde bishop sermon, and after be at hygh masse and each of them offer 1_d. _ to the chylde bysshop."

    The Customs of Old England

  • In Cornwall no housewife would scour or scrub on Childermas, and in Northamptonshire it was considered very unlucky to begin any undertaking or even to do washing throughout the year on the day of the week on which the feast fell.

    Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan

  • Childermas was there called Dyzemas and a saying ran: "What is begun on Dyzemas Day will never be finished."

    Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan

  • Holy Innocents 'Day or Childermas, whether or not because of Herod's massacre, was formerly peculiarly unlucky; it was a day upon which no one, if he could possibly avoid it, should begin any piece of work.

    Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan

  • Dean Colet, in the statutes of St. Paul's School, which he founded in 1512, expressly ordains that his scholars should, every Childermas Day, [84] 'come to Paulis Churche, and hear the Chylde Bishop's Sermon; and, after, be at hygh masse, and each of them offer a penny to the

    A Righte Merrie Christmasse The Story of Christ-Tide

  • Sunday, was postponed till the Monday, owing to the former day being, in that year, the festival of Childermas.

    A Righte Merrie Christmasse The Story of Christ-Tide


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  • In what an immoral dark wilderness

    Could infants be brutally killed en masse?

    Such blasphemous crime

    In ‘Great’ Herod’s time

    Is subject and theme of our Childermas.

    December 28, 2018