Yes, dear readers. You are looking at a Christmas tree figurine that is pooping. Shitting to be more exact. You may be wondering why someone would make this item. And why would I have bought it and placed it in our aparthotel near our Christmas tree? Glad you asked! It just so happens that this little figure, called a caganer (or shitter in Catalan) is a very old Catalan Christmas tradition. According to the vendor who sold me this item, the original caganer, which looks like this, is part of the Nativity scene and is depicted by a peasant dropping his pants and shitting. The reason for this is thought to be because the caganer's poop will fertilize the soil and lead to a plentiful harvest in the upcoming year. Nowadays, you can buy a caganer of virtually anybody. You can buy a shitting Santa Claus, a shitting Lionel Messi, a shitting Barack Obama, a shitting Simpsons character, etc.
Now that we're official Barcelona residents, I thought it appropriate to incorporate a little bit of Catalan culture into our Christmas celebrations. And even though the Professor and I love the idea of having a pooping Christmas tree in our house, we both wanted a real Christmas tree too. Did you know that there are only a few places in Barcelona where you can buy real Christmas trees? We didn't! Fortunately, one of them was near our aparthotel in the Barrio Gotico. Around this time of year, there is an annual Christmas fair called la Fira de Santa Llucia. At this fair, you can buy real and artificial trees, ornaments, caganers, misteltoe, holly branches, lights, and all things Christmas related. Here are some pictures we took at the fair.
These little logs above are called Caga Tio's. They are another old Catalan Christmas tradition. The idea is that in the month of December, the family "feeds" the Tio and then on Christmas Eve, the kids beat it with little sticks and sing a song and the Caga Tio is supposed to poop out sweets. Kind of like a defecating piñata.
Yesterday the Professor and I went to the Christmas fair and we bought a teeny, tiny pine tree that stands proudly at two feet tall. Then when we returned to our aparthotel, we put on some Christmas music and decorated it. Here's how it came out.
There's no reason why you can't make Christmas feel like Christmas even though you're many miles from home and staying in a hotel. Don't you agree?
Merry Christmas to you all! Feliz Navidad! Bon Nadal!