Many churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the Greeks in the early centuries of Christianity-"Holy Humor Sunday" or “Laughter Sunday”.
For centuries in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries, the week following Easter Sunday, including "Bright Sunday" (the Sunday after Easter), was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection.
Churchgoers and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, told jokes, sang, and danced.
The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke by raising Jesus from the dead. "Risus paschalis - the Easter laugh," the early theologians called it.
In 1988 the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches and prayer groups to resurrect Bright Sunday celebrations and call it "Holy Humor Sunday," with the theme: "Jesus is the LIFE of the party." Many churches from different traditions responded enthusiastically.
When you Google “Holy Humor Sunday” and "Laughter Sunday" you’ll be amazed at how widespread humor celebrations on the Sundays following Easter have become among churches of all traditions.
“ It’s clearly a movement of the Holy Spirit to shore up belief in the resurrection of Jesus.”
“So who says we can’t laugh and celebrate in our places of worship? We can find a way to mix faith and humor, stir it into our lives, and let it simmer into a rich stew that will feed all those around us.”
Holy Humor Sunday is “a modern adaptation of the ancient custom of Easter Monday, which still is a holiday in dozens of countries,” featuring picnics, parties, practical jokes, joke-telling, and boys and girls drenching each other with water."