With her pants down, squatting over the pile of fertilizer she has created. Below the fold. Don’t go there unless you are prepared to be shocked and amazed.

—————— the fold ————————


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Well, OK, so maybe this is not as shocking as you were expecting.

This is one of several (click here to see them all) examples at the Sun Sentinel of Caganers, a Catalonian Spanish tradition dating to the 17th century. These squatting, defecating figurines are to be placed with nativity scenes. Then, people coming over to visit you are challenged to find the squatting, pooping, prime minister or whatever. (Often the figurines are of popes or nuns and such sorts).

Now, what you have to understand is that in this region of Spain and adjoining areas elsewhere in Europe, the “nativity” scene starts with the baby Jesus in the manger and the three wise men etc etc but also includes a model of the entire town of Bethlehem, surrounding hillsides and woodlands, caves, hills, trees, sheep, and so on and so forth. It can get very elaborate. So the pooping prime minister or the defecating duke is harder to spot than one might initially imagine.

You will find claims that the Caganer originally reprsented fertility or some such thing, but this is hokum. The reason for this tradition is obscure, but it is probably pretty much meant to be a plain and simple thumbing of one’s nose as religious tradition. A post inquisition blow off the steam closure kinda thing.

The French version is called “Pere la Colique (Father Colic) and the Dutch version is called “Little Pooper.” The German version … you probably don’t want to know what that is called.

This is not the only place that shit has in the Spanish Christmas tradition. There is also a crossover joke regarding the Christmas log and …. well, you can guess how that story goes.

I think I don’t want to talk about this any more.

See the multi thousand comment discussion on this fascinating topic here, at Pharyngula.

Comments

  1. #1 ppnl
    December 6, 2008

    well shit…

  2. #2 Laurent
    December 7, 2008

    Hum, there was a very old family owned version, it was coming of ages and religiously sorted out once a year usually after winterstice (well, chritmas for this part of the family). I’ve seen it twice because it was hold as a relique from our ancestors and found back from the dustier part of the basements…

  3. #3 Ben Breuer
    December 7, 2008

    I wonder whether this follows denominational lines in Germany, say, only for the Catholic parts (Spain and France were mostly Catholic, but the Netherlands excepting modern-day Belgium were not). Sadly, I gotta go back to research … Speaking of which, are there caganers of Ernst Haeckel?