Sunday, December 22, 2013

Catalan Caganer

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I bought this charming nativity in a little Catalan village called Figueres.

So, the year winds down.  And what a year.  A graduation, a job loss/change, a new city for my son, and an untimely death of a special relative.  So when I put up my nativity I bought in Figueres Spain, I most definately put in my Caganer.

See that red cap hiding behind the fence???
 This strange addition to a nativity may be offensive to some.  However, in the Catalan region of Spain, it is quite commonplace and has been around since the 17th Century.  Children love to search the nativity for the hidden Caganer.  Mine, is a traditional Catalan man, and yes, he is doing a Number 2.  You see in many cultures, poo, is a sign of good luck as it fertilizes the earth and ensures a good harvest for the coming year. is exactly what you think.
He's hiding out of respect for the birth of Christ, but he is in all the nativities in this part of Spain!

All over Barcelona and the surrounding region, you find these little figurines for sale.  The most popular is the traditional Catalan man, but you can find many famous politicians, soccer players, celebrities and even Elvis.  I would have bought him had I found him!  But I bought the traditional fellow, and every year he is hidden behind a little fence in my nativity.  His defecating is a reminder that no matter what may have transpired this year, it lays the groundwork for the success of the coming year.  Out with the old and in with the new.  So, to you, a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous New Year.  See you on the other side.  Stick around, we have about 40 chefs to cover before I turn 50!!

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