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All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters

Peter the Great founded a drinking club when he was a young man. Because he was tsar, he took it too far.

Peter I

Paul Delaroche [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The club started out when he was a young man. In it was Peter, his tutor, the future head of his secret police, a few princes, assorted admirals… up to about 200 people in all. You know, typical drinking buddies. They called themselves the Jolly Company and they wandered around begging noblemen for shelter and food. Given the collected authority of the company, I cannot imagine the noblemen could easily say no.

Anyway, they stopped wandering around so much and started putting down roots in Moscow. The Jolly Company metamorphosed into something more formal, the beautifully named All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters. Or, as Google Translate has it, the “clown, drunk, and haunted cathedral.” This club made fun of religious formalities by electing a Prince-Pope and parodying orthodox rites and rituals – most of which (surprise surprise) involved them drinking an extraordinary amount of vodka.

 

 

Categories: Asia Early modern history Europe History Places Politics & law Religion & belief

The Generalist

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and am curious about most things.

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