For most, seeing a guy taking a dump in the corner of their Nativity Scene would be a bit less than appealing. For the people of Catalonia, it’s a 200+ year-old tradition. The caganer (literally, the defecator) is a little figure that is crouched, taking a crap with a large poo below him. Dating back to days of a heavily agrarian society, he was seen as a sign of fertility for the coming year and was thus incorporated in to Christmas tradition.
Now, much like the tió (the “crapping log”) and Diada de Sant Jordi, the caganer has gotten to be one of those little items that is thoroughly Catalan and highly loved by the folks living in Northeastern Spain.
While there has been an influx over the last few years of those from other parts of Spain, these ‘charnegos’ have not really taken to Catalan traditions despite being part of life where these immigrants decided to go for a better life. That said, it seems that a number of things are dying off slightly in favor of such crap as Santa or whatever other unholy corporate plan spreads throughout the land.
So, in the interest of preserving tradition, I give a caganer gallery to show the glory of these little buggers. Obviously this year the big crapper was Obama caganer. I saw a number of people “going Barack”. Bush was naturally not to be seen anywhere since he is thankfully on his way out and no one wants a caganer from politicians of yore. One caganer that you’ll never official see is one of the king as it is illegal to defame images of the king in Spain.