Laughter

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Laughter

Laughter may seem an inappropriate Easter symbol and custom to contemporary Christians. Yet up until the eighteenth century churches throughout central Europe rang with laughter on Easter Sunday. In order to evoke this mirth clergymen preached humorous sermons, told funny stories, or recited amusing poems. These jolly Ostermärlein, or Easter fables, contained moral teachings as well. The resulting laughter dispelled the somber mood which had prevailed throughout Lent and ushered in the joyful season of Easter. The hilarity also celebrated Christ's defeat of the devil and his victory over death.

The practice of eliciting Easter laughter began during the Middle Ages, reaching the height of its popularity between the fourteenth and the eighteenth centuries. The custom became so popular that printers issued several compilations of Easter fables during that era. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, however, religious reformers began to criticize the practice. Eventually their viewpoint prevailed and people began to view Easter fables and Easter laughter as inappropriate and irreverent. The custom of celebrating Easter with laughter finally died out sometime between the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Further Reading

Russ, Jennifer M. German Festivals and Customs. London, England: Oswald Wolff, 1982. Weiser, Francis X. The Easter Book. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1954.

Laughter

Democritus
(c. 460—c. 370 B.C.) the laughing philosopher. [Gk. Phil.: Jobes, 430]
hyena
rapacious scavenger, known for its maniacal laughter. [Zoology: Misc.]
laughing gas
(nitrous oxide) sweet-smelling, colorless gas; produces feeling of euphoria. [Medicine: Misc.]
Thalia
Muse of comedy [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 1071]
References in periodicals archive ?
Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha, winner of the 1993 Booker Prize, is a child's-eye view of working-class life in Ireland in the late 1960s, a deft first-person narrative from the point of view of a ten-year-old who describes vividly the day-to-day cares of his boyhood world as well as his contacts with the adult world he cannot always understand.
Talent: Amanda, left, and with David, Alesha and Simon on the judges' panel Al Al Al Ales es es es es esha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha and nd Simon on th th th th the ju ju ju ju j dges' panel
message here Mike-Betty Sheats-Williams HA ha ha ha ha ha ha, obviously doesn't know the same Welsh people that I know
Ha Ha Ha ha So they built a great many of these (Wind Farms) Ha Ha Ha Ha And they put many thousands of them all over the beautiful countryside Ha Ha Ha Ha And they backed them up with a great many of these for when they don''t twirl around (Electricity Stations and Pylons) Ha Ha Ha Ha And that devalued properties and the land Ha Ha Ha Ha And they charged the Earth People this (Money) for Carbon Emissions Ha Ha Ha Ha They clearly area most primitive people
Which is fair enough because let's face it, if Manchester did land the sculpture it wouldn't be seen as a cultural addition to their city centre, it would simply be known as "That thing that we nicked off the Scousers - ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
RECOGNISE the following song lyric - "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha"?
HIPPY CRACK' SHAME: How we broke the Berahino story 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'H 'HIP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IP IPPY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY PY CRAC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC AC ACK' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K' K SHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA H ME:Ho How
SO SO SO SO SOUT UT UT UT UTHA HA HA HA HA HA HAMP MP MP MP MP MP MP MPTO TO TO TO TO TO TO TO TO TON bos os os os os os os oss Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma Ma M ur ur ur ur ur uric ic ic ic ic ic ic i io io io io io io Pochettino wants VAV LENCIA winger M i io SOUTHAMPTON boss Mauricio Pochettino wants VALENCIA winger Pablo Piatti.
Goldie, who is partnered with Joe Calzaghe's girlfriend Kristina Rihanoff, told us: "It's better to do Bikram first then cha cha cha ha ha ha ha - this is killing my poor legs
I'm more excited about going to Wales than to Outer Mongolia, ha ha ha.
As one crafty scoundrel who had succeeded in defrauding customers in an online auction wrote, Ha Ha Ha Ha.
t O for or or cha ha ha ha ha hang ng ng ng ng ng ngin in ininining I DON'T blame Rita Ora for changing into these comfy looking PJs after her V Festival set - she's been through the wars lately.