Merry Crappy Christmas

Dec 25, 2011 by     No Comments    Posted under: Discover, Photo of the Moment

Photo Rafel Miro, Flickr CC

If you think your holiday season is crappy, spare a thought for the Catalans, and the annual invasion of the Caganers.

The Caganer has to be the most unusual of all nativity scene characters.  The Caganer is, straight up, a man with his pants down taking a crap, in public no less.  Which would explain why “Caganer” translates to “shitter”. The Caganer has been a Catalan tradition for hundreds of years, and a giant version regularly graces the center of Barcelona at Christmas.

The annals of El Caganer are are as dark and murky as his “product”, but date back at least to the 18th century, and the figures symbolize fertilization of the earth, hope and prosperity for the new year.  Kind of like when a bird craps on you, just bigger and messier.  The traditional Caganer is a peasant figure, but since the 1940s have taken on the form of famous figures.  The Pope, Michael Jackson, politicians and British royalty have all been honored and bared their asses in the name of good luck.  In Barcelona right Christmas Crappers figurines include Shakira, Sarah Palin, Kate Middleton and Prince William.

Secretly placing lurking Caganers in nativity scenes is a Christmas tradition, so if you invite any Catalans over this year, don’t blame the cat when you find a crap behind the baby manger.  Just take it as a sign of good luck.  And the next time you think you were given a shitty present, maybe you are just in Barcelona.

Pic: Rafel Miro


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