El Caganer – Catalan Tradition

There are some really weird traditions knocking about. From teeth tossing in Greece to baby jumping in Spain, there are some particularly diverse things that happen in this world of ours. Christmas time is no different, it comes with its own set of rules and behaviours. You might be thinking, come on WidowCrankster, why are you talking about cultural behaviours when you usually talk about art and films?? But I do think to understand art and films you need to have an open mind to culture, religion, myth, legend and all that lovely stuff I talk about.

Let me introduce to you “El Caganer”. Hopefully you’re all aware of the regular nativity scene….Mary and Joesph around the manger, baby JC receiving gifts from the shepherds and wise men, star over the stable… I think that’s the regular version, but in Catalonia, “El Caganer” also makes an appearance in the corner of the stable.

The name literally means “The crapper” and he is seen to be defecating in the corner. Now you may feel that this is either a poorly placed joke, or fairly disrespectful, I mean who would do that in front of the big JC? But actually it’s quite symbolic.

While it isn’t exactly clear why this cheeky chappy turns up, common thoughts on the symbolism are, that he is fertilising the earth. This then allows the nativity scene to be fertile for the next year.

More popular Caganer’s appear as famous figures, serving as a levelling device, to bring the mighty down….shown with their pants around their ankles…

I have chosen a slightly more tasteful representation, with beautiful origami and photography by Graciela Vicente Ráfales, it does give a slightly less vulgar view than the above Trump dump.

So when you’re viewing your next nativity scene, have a good look to see if you can see “El Caganer” hiding away somewhere.

Think I’ve missed something? Why not tell me in the comments?


2 thoughts on “El Caganer – Catalan Tradition

Add yours

  1. Haha, this really made my day! I was initially focused on the book that figure was holding…. and how the shadow was being cast. I had totally missed the fertilization process. I could have taken that to be a tail. So funny.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

Finding French Charming

Finding True Love After Forty

My expressions

unexpressed thoughts

Fang & Saucer

From Stokervania to Austenland - to Infinity and Beyond!

Art & criticism by eric wayne

Art and Criticism by Eric Wayne

Quaint Revival

quirks, quips & photo clicks

It's Turpintime!

Stuff & Bits For The Muddled and Addled.


When the universe hands me a pen and then regrets it

The Artsy Psyche

I speak in colours and metaphors.

Eerie Unsolved

A Mix-Up of Mysteries, Conspiracies and All Things Spooky!

As Lady Stitch

Living with fibromyalgia.

Being Beckyy

We were born to be real, not to be perfect.

The Battles of Frankie

The failings and anecdotes of an average Aussie woman

The Formidable Endeavor

Ph.D. student life

The Indy Diarist

A Day in the Life

Leggings & Tea

Books. Art. Life.

The Non-Alcoholic Student

Ramblings on the University experience from a sober student

High Lumen

lighting design blog

Lady with Black Lipstick

Hopeless romantic speaking her thoughts.

Scandi Lifestyle

A lifestyle blog about all things Scandinavian


This is the page where I will share my thoughts about football, my memories and funny stories.


A panorama is defined as an unbroken view of the whole region surrounding an observer. My panorama includes a jumbled mess of ideas and thoughts waiting to be typed out. Welcome to my panorama.

Marina Baker

marketing, social media, & business development

Chef Dave, Esq.

Lawyer by trade -- Cook by passion

Trailhead Health Coaching

Your Trailhead to... Fitness & Nutrition, Relationships & Parenting, Lifelong Learning, Minimizing & Decluttering


Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift



The Insides

Don't h8, apprici8

Diary of a Twenty Something

Finding meaning in the small and mundane...


an online diary of an introvert.


Tick talk, around the clock. Because Lyme disease never takes a day off.

Amdall Gallery

Collection of artwork, data analysis, and other assorted projects by Jon

The Butterfly Tree

where stories take wings

The Planet According to Dom

The workings of a dyslexic mind

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

Black Pen Art

Website and blog on the simplicity of the line. (c) 2017. All contents belong to sueblackpenart

The Daily Travesty

Bad Poetry On Purpose

The Semicolon

Where words speak out loud.

No-Madder Nomadder

Where am I going?


to the story of my life

%d bloggers like this: