The Pooer


Uber-religious Spain has its unique view on the sanctity of religion.  No self-respecting household would be without its nativity scene to honor the birth of Jesus on Christmas.  Much time, energy and money goes into elaborate representations of the big birthday.  Bowing Kings.  The Virgin Mother.  Humble cattle.  And this character:

He is called “Caganer” in Catalan, or “The Pooer”.  Yes, that is a turd under his bare bum.

The tradition of having a ceramic figure pooping in the nativity scene started in the Catalonia region of Spain, but spread quickly, as you can imagine.  Who could resist a placing a pile of crap near the manger?

Back in November I received a request to send information about Spanish Christmas traditions to my niece’s grade one class in Vancouver.  DUHH..  it was obvious that the Caganer and his pile of crap would be a hit with a group of six-year olds.  I merrily printed off the story of “The Pooer” and included 4 copies of his bare butt so the kids could pass them around.

I was spot on with the six year old sense of humor.  The kids absolutely loved it and niece Sydney was hero of the day for having family that places a turd in their nativity scene.

However, “The Pooer” wasn’t as well received in the staff room.  Due to a anti-potty language campaign in the older grades, my bum-turd photos were banned from the display of world Christmas traditions.

I guess some people just can’t appreciate religious tradition.

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11 comments

  1. No, no, no,no. I can not believe that people actually do this. Yes, as the great book proved “Everybody Poops” but really? It’s become tradition? Your blog needs to become a tv show or movie. These people are so entertaining.

    1. The true origins are lost, but the tradition dates back to the 1700s. People now say it is a sign of good luck; “fertilizer” for the New Year, as it were.

  2. I reeeeeally want a Caganer! We don’t have a nativity scene but I’ve wanted one since I first heard about this from a friend who visited Spain years ago. Despite contrary reports in blog land, my husband insists they are mostly found in Catalonia. And my search continues.

    1. The Caganer is alive and well here in Algeciras. Thanks to the Corte Ingles and all “Las Tiendas Chinas” I think he has infiltrated nativity scenes everywhere.

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