Curling One Out For Christmas !

If you thought that Southpark’s “Mr. Hankey” was the only toilet related Christmas character – Think again !

The Catalan Christmas tradition includes 2 poo-related characters:

  • The Caganer or “Shitter”- A cheeky figure that first appeared in Catalan nativity scenes during the 18th Century.
  • Caga Tió – The Catalan equivalent of Father Christmas !
Rows of caganers for sale at a Christmas market

A collection of traditional caganers

The Caganer

Spanish nativity scenes are larger and more elaborate than those seen in the UK. They usually include additional buildings, animals, shepherds, farmers, washerwomen and other characters.

In Catalonia one of these characters is el caganer, roughly translated as “the shitter”. The crouching caganer is supposed to add a touch of reality and humour to the nativity scene. He is also said to bring good luck.

Traditional caganers wear Catalan national dress; a red and black “barretina” (sock hat) and “espardenyas” (canvas shoes). In recent years they have been joined by “celebrity” caganers depicting famous people, super heroes, politicians, footballers and members of the British royal family.

If you’re visiting Barcelona at Christmas you will find a wide variety of caganers on sale at the Santa Llúcia Christmas market. You can also purchase them on line from caganer.com

Find out more about caganers here

A collection of Catalan Christmas logs or Caga tios

Caga Tiós for sale at the Santa Llucia Christmas market in Barcelona

Caga Tió

Caga Tió is a Christmas log with a smiling face painted on one end. The log is placed in the living room on the 8th of December and has to be fed daily with traditional Christmas food like turró (spanish nougat) and nuts. It is covered with a red blanket and wears a barretina to keep warm.

The process of feeding and caring for the tió continues up until Christmas eve. Finally the whole family gathers round the log and sings as the children hit it with sticks until it shits out presents !

El Canço del tió (The song of the log)

Original lyrics in Catalan:

Caga tió,
ametlles i turró,
no caguis arangades,
que són massa salades,
caga torrons,
que són més bons,
Caga tió.
ametlles i turró,
si no vols cagar,
et donaré un cop de bast,ó
Caga tió!

English translation:

Shit log,
Almonds and turró,
Don’t shit herring,
They’re too salty,
Shit turró,
They’re more delicious,
Shit log,
Almonds and turró,
If you don’t want to shit,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
Shit log!

More about the caga tió here

 

Caganer figurine draped with a Catalan nationalist flag or estelada

A caganer doing his stuff !

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2 thoughts on “Curling One Out For Christmas !

    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Rosemary,

      You can buy them online at http://www.caganer.com.

      Funnily enough, last week I read an article saying that celebrity caganers for 2015 include Elton John, David Camaron (UK PM) and Ada Colau (the new Mayor of Barcelona).

      If you’re looking for a unique Christams present and have got €140 to spare, they also offer personalised caganers!

      Reply

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