Caganers: Figurines of Pooping World Leaders in Nativity Scenes

In Catalonia – a historic territory in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, mostly in Spain and adjoining portion in southern France – a bizarre tradition is followed. During Christmas, a large model of the city of Bethlehem is created along with the typical nativity scene with Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the Shepherds. But tucked away in a corner of the model is a little figurine of a defecating Catalan peasant. It’s called the Caganer, which means shitter in Catalan.

It’s widely believed that the Caganer, by pooping, is fertilizing the Earth and thus promising a good harvest during the forthcoming year. Hence, it is a good omen. Another explanation is that the Caganer represents the equality of all people: regardless of status, race, or gender, everyone defecates. The exact origin of the Caganer is lost, but the tradition has existed since the 17th century. Originally, the Caganer was portrayed as a Catalan peasant wearing red stocking hat with a black band, but modern Caganers are often caricatures of famous people.

Surprisingly, the practice is tolerated by the local Catholic church.

Caganar

Caganar

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

Prince Charles

Prince Charles

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

Spiderman

Spiderman

SpongeBob SquarePants

SpongeBob SquarePants

Tintin

Tintin

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Spanish Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso

Spanish Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso

Jose Mourinho, manager of Real Madrid

Jose Mourinho, manager of Real Madrid

Coach of FC Barcelona Josep Guardiola

Coach of FC Barcelona Josep Guardiola

The player of Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo

The player of Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo

Barcelona player Lionel Messi

Barcelona player Lionel Messi

John Lennon

John Lennon

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