Galeano on Easter, and the lack of laughter in the Bible

From ‘Forbidden to Laugh’ in Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone:

The ancient festivals that marked the cycles of nature now called Christmas and Easter are no longer homages to pagan gods, but rather solemn rituals that venerate the divinity who kidnapped their days and highjacked their symbols.

The Hilaria, a festival either inherited or invented by Rome, greeted the arrival of spring. The goddess Cybele would bathe in the river, calling for rain and fertility in the fields, while the Romans, dressed in bizarre clothes, laughed themselves silly, everyone made fun of everyone else, and there was no person or thing in the world undeserving of a good ribbing.

By decision of the Catholic Church, these pagan festival, which celebrated with hilarity the resurrection of spring, was deemed to coincide each March, more or less, with the resurrection of Jesus, of whom the scriptures record not a single laugh.

And by decision of the Catholic Church, the Vatican was built in the exact location where the festival of glee used to reach its zenith. Now, in that vast plaza where the guffaws of the multitudes once resonated, we hear the grave voice of the pope reciting passages from the Bible, a book where no one ever laughs.

Angsalvor, 1850 (Fairies of the Meadow, 1850), by Nils Johan Olsson Blommer, originally uploaded by pirano.

  1. Www.Youtube.Com says

    Greetings I am so glad I found your blog page, I really found you by
    accident, while I was browsing on Aol for something else, Anyways I am here
    now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous
    post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the moment but I
    have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time
    I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the
    great work.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.