Aah what a lovely nativity scene, there’s the manger, the shepherds, the bloke having a poo, the wise men ““ whoa rewind, did I really see that? I don’t care how many sprouts he had, that’s just rude and untraditional. Well you are wrong on both counts, El Caganer is a fine old Catalan tradition that is seen as an integral part of any festive nativity.
Originally it was a shepherd or peasant delivering his unique present, and it represented the regeneration of the soil and the natural circle of nature. In recent years the tradition has grown into a more fun event with celebrities squatting in place of the peasant. As Catalans travelled they took their cheeky habit with them, El Caganer has been spotted in Tenerife, La Villa commercial centre in La Orotava is a good place to look.
Every year new faces pop out to join the ranks of the infamous, President Obama has been honoured and this year HRH The Queen has briefly stepped down from the throne to join in. I have spared Her Majesty’s blushes here, I don’t want to be greeted on my next UK visit by Beefeaters ready to make mincemeat out of me. Don’t think it’s just outsiders that get the treatment, the Spanish politicians and royalty are also shown doing what comes naturally.
Surely there must be outrage and disgust at these festive interlopers, far from it. In 2005 Barcelona council decided there was no place for El Caganer in the modern age and banned it from their official nativity, there were howls of protest, the council relented and the campaigners were flushed with success.
You can buy any El Caganer at www.caganer.com all you have to do is log on, snigger, snigger.