Definition of Childermas in US English:



  • The feast of the Holy Innocents, December 28.

    • ‘In Europe, today is celebrated as the ‘Feast of Childermas,’ a time for parents to remind their children of the message of Holy Innocents’ Day.’
    • ‘In Spain and Hispanic countries like Mexico, Childermas is rather like April Fools Day is in America and France.’
    • ‘If this trend continues, Christmas may go the way of Candlemas, Childermas, and Michaelmas for many Christian groups.’
    • ‘Holy Innocents Day, also known as Childermas, commemorates King Herod's massacre of all male infants in and around Bethlehem under the age of two in attempt to kill the young Christ.’
    • ‘We are informed, too, that in England, on the occasion of the coronation of King Edward IV, that solemnity, which had been originally intended to take place on a Sunday, was postponed till the Monday, owing to the former day being in that year the festival of Childermas.’


Old English cildramæsse, from cildra ‘of children’, genitive plural of cild (see child) + mæsse (see Mass).