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Pooping Figurines of the Mighty and Famous: The Caganers of Catalunya, Spain

Updated on September 6, 2011

Icons of humility and fairness

It’s a practice of the Catalunians to do a caganer of every powerful and famous figure in the world – yes, Virginia, a pooping President-Elect Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, Condoleeza Rice and every other celebrity you know. It’s a practice of the Catalunians to put caganers along with the Christmas Manger. I learned that Catalunian children love these figurines. This is good for the environment. But more than a figurine for children and the environment, the practice reminds people that at the end of the day, the powerful and famous is just like anyone of us doing what any other human being does. You can visit this website to view a host of caganers. It’s a very informative site:

http://barcelonaphotoblog.blogspot.com/search/label/celebrities

Here’s another site where you can see a photo of the caganers. Just follow the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/20mm/2790593153/

I stumbled on the above sites after I read in the news that there is a caganer of President-Elect Barack Obama. And then, I found out that there were more caganers….just every celebrity in the world has a caganer in the shops of Barcelona!

Reflecting on the practice of the Catalunians, it impresses me that their history is replete with wisdom just like any other group of people in the world. The caganers is an icon of fairness and humility.

It makes us, people, realize that whatever so-called greatness we achieve, we are, after all, just pooping human beings. Isn’t that the core of the word “humor” – being able to laugh at ourselves for after all we are the same humus (latin word), meaning soil?

Somewhere along the story of the caganers, in 2005, it is a known fact that the government of Catalunya ordered the removal of the figurines during Christmas as the icon may be extolling the practice of pooing in public places. From what I learned, there was a strong clamor from the people to let the caganers stay. That is why last Christmas, there were caganers of every mighty world figure in the Christmas Mangers of Catalunya. They are here to stay!

Featuring the rich and famous in the most solemn but private act of pooing is the most human thing a culture can ever do. But of course, there are people in the world who aren’t impressed by the practice.

Imagine portraying a pooping President with a ballistic missile in his right hand, a Celebrity and others! Even Pope John Paul II had a caganer in Barcelona. There was no protest from Vatican as the caganer is not known to be a spoof of greatness but an invitation for introspection. The practice is really cute and profound. It disabuses us of most of the illusions we wrap ourselves and others with.


The Caganers

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    • franciaonline profile image
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      franciaonline 6 years ago from Philippines

      Yes, Caganers are so cute. I've been reading about them and

      decided to write about them as a kind of tribute. The concept of the Caganers is a great cultural idea.

      Thanks for visiting my hub and leaving a comment.

      I visited your hub on the "Fireworks" and I'm thankful you wrote about it. I will keep coming back to your hub!

    • franciaonline profile image
      Author

      franciaonline 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Margaflores,

      I'll be visiting your site within the day. Thanks for leaving a kind comment.

    • profile image

      Margaflores 6 years ago from Barcelona

      I love Caganers! they are so cute! and typically Catalan. FC Barcelona and politician characters are the most popular ones turned into caganers!

      But now is summertime, and the best in Catalonia are the open-air festivals at the beach, like the Fireworks Competition in Blanes. Have you been there? I'd like to share a hub I've written about it with you https://hubpages.com/travel/Fireworks-Competition-...

      Feel free to make any comments!

    • CrisKat profile image

      CrisKat 6 years ago

      haha yeah :)

    • franciaonline profile image
      Author

      franciaonline 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hi CrisKat,

      You made me chuckle with your comments. Thanks for dropping by!

    • CrisKat profile image

      CrisKat 6 years ago

      I am from Barcelona myself and we are not Catalunians but Catalans

      catalunians are just crazy catalans :)

    • franciaonline profile image
      Author

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi dayzeebee,

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving an encouraging comment!

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hahaha this is one out of the box tradition. Again it goes to show that in the end we are all equal as we are still all human beings.:P Enjoyed it much. Blessings:)

    • franciaonline profile image
      Author

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Uriel,

      I laughed too when I first learned about the caganers. The wisdom behind the tradition inspired me to write a hub on it. Thanks for dropping by my page and taking notice of the caganers!

    • Uriel profile image

      Uriel 8 years ago from Lebanon

      Dear Francia, This is the first time i have ever heard of such a tradition . THe figurins made us laugh no doubt. LOL

    • franciaonline profile image
      Author

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      Elena, it's a pleasure to know that you are from Barcelona. I am from the Philippines and I'm sure you know that Spain is a part of our history and culture. I am very glad that you stumbled on this hub and left a heartwarming comment.

    • profile image

      Francia 8 years ago

      Paraglider, It's good to know that you noticed the papier mache figures at the barcelonaphotoblog site aside from the photo of the caganers. Indeed, there's a talent there. I've bookmarked that link because the site is a treasure trove! Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 8 years ago from Madrid

      Hi franciaonline! I'm so glad to have stumbled upon this hub! I'm from Barcelona and reading your thoughtful comments on the caganer made me kind of proud, you know? Thanks!

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      We learn something every day! The papier mache figures on the first link are also well worth a look. There's a talent there.

    • franciaonline profile image
      Author

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      I found the tradition cute, intriguing and profound! Thanks for leaving a comment, Cris.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      This is the first time I heard of this tradition and it is indeed very unique but in a very tongue-in-cheek way! Glad you stumbled upon it and shared it here :D

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