Saturday, November 29, 2008

SCATALONIA: "Some of the world's most curious Christmas traditions can be found in Catalonia, where the idea of holiday cheer seems to involve some of life's more basic bodily functions."
Here are two factoids that one wouldn't necessarily expect to find in the same Wikipedia entry: "the infant Jesus is God in human form" and "everyone defecates."

But if you navigate to the entry attempting an explanation of the fecal-centric Catalonian tradition known as
el caganer, that is exactly what you'll find. Indeed, the tradition is a much-loved element of the Christmas celebration in Catalonia, despite its somewhat obscure beginnings.
An amusing piece at Der Spiegel on one of the most particular trait of how us Catalans celebrate Christmas: it's so familiar to me, seeing it since I was a kid, that sometimes you don't realize how weird it is until you read stories like this.

The caganer is a must-have in Nativity scenes at many people's homes, which are still being done, especially in homes with children. And the caganer follows the times, so every year there's popular people depicted at that 'private moment'. For example, this year there's an Obama:

No, unlike this one, this is not offensive; look at the gallery and you'll see that everybody is depicted...