Caganer The cheeky Christmas Crapper hiding in the Nativity scene

The traditional nativity scene in Catalonia — you know, the usual suspects of Mary, Joseph and the shepherds gathered around the baby Jesus in his manger — includes a character called a Caganer.

Usually hiding in a corner, under a bridge or behind a tree, the figures are innocent-looking from the front. Their buttocks are bare and each one has a small, brown deposit beneath. Every morning the children hunting for the Caganer.

The origins of the Caganer are a bit murky, but it seems he’s has been dropping his britches to “fertilize the earth” since the middle of the 19th century at least.

Today’s Christmas markets are full of famous people cast in clay, literally caught with their pants down.




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Siobhan is a freelance writer, research addict and lover of twisted history. If you like horrible but amazing history, check out her website or Facebook page Or you can reach her through