Why a Pea Jester?

Originally, the jester was one of the characters of the European medieval theater. He was wearing a striped yellow-green suit, his head crowned with a hat with donkey ears. Also an integral attribute of the jester was a rattle – a stick, which is tied a bull bubble with peas poured inside.

The appearance of a jester on the stage has always been accompanied by the sound of this rattle. During the performance, he often bashed both other characters and viewers. By the way, the impromptu monologues of the jester called “crushed peas”, and rattle and peas in it were quite symbolic. Rattle acted as a phallic symbol, it can even be said as a tool of shaming, and peas was considered a symbol of fertility and was also associated with the bodily bottom.

Pea bell was an attribute of soldering in ancient Rome. From there it was borrowed by the Byzantines, and in Rome itself this tradition was lost after a while. During the Crusades, the pea rattle returned from the Middle East to Europe, and then reached Russia. The Russian skomorochs also had a tradition of decorating themselves with pea straw, and at the end of the Carnival straw effigy of a pea jester was transported through the streets.

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