This may seem kind of a joke, but it is not. In fact, this is one of the most popular and funniest traditions in Catalonia. Everybody knows that in Spain there is a particular tradition when Christmas arrives: in most of the houses the family arrange a -we can call it- diorama made of clay figures, wood, musk and sawdust of the moment the Three Magic Kings (Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar) arrived in Bethlehem (the one 7 miles away from Jerusalem, not the one in Arkansas or North Carolina). So, every family in Spain has a mandatory routine before Christmas: a trip to the Christmas market to set up the nativity scene. In Barcelona, the Xmas market is called Santa Llúcia, and our purpose, is for you to understand two of the top-ten bestsellers. In this post we are going to tell you about the CAGANER.
Caganer in Catalan, means, literally, the guy who shits. You will find a lot of them in all the Xmas shops. The traditional is dressed in the typical clothes of a Catalan peasant (the red hat, the girdle and the white shirt), but nowadays they made them about every important person in the world (Messi, Obama, Bin Laden...). The thing is that in every nativity scene in every house in Barcelona, if you look carefully, you will find a guy sitting... and shitting.
The original meaning of this figure is to fertilize the earth and bring prosperity and good luck for the new year. But nowadays, I think the meaning has slightly changed. In Catalan shitting means screwing it up. So, every year, there is a poll about who is the person who has screwed it up more (normally a politician), and a personalized Caganer is made and sent up to his/her house.
Behold! On the next post we are going to talk about the Cagatió (the shitting tree), so if you want to know more about the relations between Catalan culture and physiological functions, come back.
PS: As God is my witness I'm not messing with you here.
For more information: http://en.firadesantallucia.cat/