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I Just Found Out Catalonian Nativity Scenes Include A Pooping Man And I’ll Never Recover

I Just Found Out Catalonian Nativity Scenes Include A Pooping Man And I’ll Never Recover

There are many different Christmas traditions around the world — from KFC on the big day, to demons who help Santa —  and we all think ours is the best, probably. Sorry to let you all know though, unless you’re Catalonian, your Christmas does not win.

I was today-years-old when I found out that the traditional Catalonian nativity scene simply must include a little figurine of a man with his pants around his ankles, mid-poop. Yes, I said mid-poop.

 

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It’s known as the caganer, which roughly translates to “the crapper”. He’s traditionally shown wearing a red Catalonian cap and a white peasant shirt, although his face is subject to change. According to Reuters, the figure can be modelled after celebrities, politicians, and the Pope.

 

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There is SOME sophistication to his placement within the scene though: it should never be in plain sight, but instead slightly hidden so you really have to look hard to find it.

Basically, Catalonia is messing with us, and I am here for it.

The origins of the caganer tradition can be traced back to the 16th or 17th century, but the reasons it started are unclear. You can bet there are some theories though.

The BBC reported that some rural communities believed it was symbol of fertility, and neglecting to hide one in your nativity would result in a bad growing season — because he was fertilising the crops with his own personal manure, get it?

 

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“There was the legend that if a countryside man did not put a caganer in the nativity scene, he would have a very bad year collecting vegetables,” a caganer connoisseur (I’m not kidding, that’s how they described this man) explained to the BBC.

Another explanation goes that the pooping man is a symbol of equality — everybody poops and therefore no one can be better than anyone else.

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Otherwise, some bored Catelonian started it as a practical joke and it’s continued on — kind of like Australians and our Drop Bear legends (which are totally real, for anyone not living in Australia who might happen to be reading this).

Whatever the reason is, I’m going to need one in my home for all future Christmases, please and thank you.

Not EVERY local is in on the joke, with Barcelona trying to end the caganer tradition by not including one in the city’s official 2005 nativity scene. According to Scoop, they claimed the move was to help the city “clean up”, as apparently there was a real problem with citizens going to the toot in public at the time.

 

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They apparently gave up the fight the very next year though and let a caganer back into their nativity scene — and continued to do so every year after. They also have an almost 7-metre high caganer statue now, so I guess they’re just embracing it.

Love your style, Catalonia.

(Lead Image: Instagram / @caganers)

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