Friday, December 16, 2011

Krazy Kristmas Traditions: El Caganer

We live in a strange and wondrous world that sometimes just makes no damned sense. Case in point: the El Caganer figurine.

A Caganer is a small figurine from the Catalan region of Spain. Caganers are generally depicted as peasant men with their pants pulled down and in the act of defecating. They have been around since at least the 18th century and are a traditional part of Spanish nativity scenes. Yep. I said nativity scenes.

In Spain (as well as parts of Italy and France), nativity scenes don't settle for just the manger. They often depict the entire town of Bethlehem. complete with a farmhouse and figures of women washing clothes in the river, shepherds herding sheep, and more. And of course over in the corner, a little guy taking a dump.

The Caganer (pronounced sort of like caga-nair and meaning "pooper") is usually the most popular part of the Spanish nativity scene (natch!). Some families hide the Caganer and challenge their kids to find it.

So why a figure of a guy dropping the kids off at the pool? Some believe it's symbolic of fertilizing the Earth or some such Circle of Life crap. Some think it's to bring some levity to an otherwise solemn religious occasion. Others just think it's because poop = funny.

I just hope they have the good sense to leave the Caganer out of the Living Nativity scenes.

The traditional Caganer is always depicted as a man in peasant clothing, wearing a hat and sash and often smoking a pipe. In recent years Caganer figures have expanded to include celebrities, athletes and political figures.

All I have to say about Caganers is WHY AM I JUST NOW HEARING ABOUT THIS?

1 comment:

  1. that's certainly a fresh, steaming way to welcome baby jesus to planet earth; they need to up the ante and make bobble-head versions with shit-eat'n grins.


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