As my travel colleagues return from IBTM, Barcelona, I noticed some amazing pictures of their Christmas market, La Fira de Santa Lucia. They may not have the most popular Christmas market in the world, but it is one of the rare places that you can buy the rather unusual and unique character known as , “El Caganer”. Traditionally, this is a figurine of a defecating Catalan peasant wearing his traditional red cap or barretina.
In most Mediterranean countries Christmas is celebrated by setting up a nativity scene in someone’s house, the characters apart from the obvious baby Jesus in the manger, would include the three wise men, shepherds, farm hands and in Barcelona hidden somewhere out of sight El Caganer. The origins and significance of the figurine is not really known, all we know is that the Caganer started making an appearance in the late 17th or early 18th Century and considering that you can now buy a Caganer of your favourite superstar or politician it could be the Catalan’s satirical humour finding its place in Christmas. Considering the past few years, guess what I’m including in my nativity scene this year!!