Christmas customs in Spain: Catalonia’s unique Christmas symbol “the defecation man”-BBC News

  • Author: Jessica Jones •
  • Jessica Jones

December 27, 2020

Image with text,

The origin of the poop can be traced back to the end of the 17th century or the beginning of the 18th century, when realism prevailed in the fields of art, sculpture, and literature.

The scene of the birth of Jesus, called “pessebre” in Catalan-it contains all the usual characters: Mary and Joseph staring affectionately at the sleeping man in the manger Baby Jesus, the cows are mooing, and sometimes there are shepherds. But if you look closely, there is a villain hidden in these Christmas standard characters, with his pants half faded, shit in the sacred scene.

The caganer-literally “defecator”-is the main element of Christmas in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain. It is usually a farmer wearing black pants, a white shirt and a classic red plus Catalan hat-Barretina (barretina). While shit, he might still be smoking a pipe and reading the newspaper.

“It’s like an interesting link in something that should be very serious,” said Marc-Ignasi Corral, a 53-year-old poop collector from Barcelona, ​​with a smile. Yes, this character is very popular, and it even has its own association, the “Association of Friends of Pooping People” (L’associacio Amics del Caganer), and Corral is a member of the association. The association was founded in 1990 and has about 70 members—some even from faraway America, who meet twice a year.

The traditional pooping man is made of clay, fired in a kiln above 1,000 degrees Celsius, and then hand painted patterns. With the development of the industry, the poop poop is constantly evolving; now, there are many different types of poop poop in both design and materials.

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