Other theories suggest that the caganer represents the equality of all peoples, or that his presence makes the Nativity story more “natural,” and therefore more believable. All I know is the word “caganer” is waaaaay easier to get past the censors of a family newspaper than its Dutch equivalent: “schijterkes.”
But wait, there’s more! The caganer isn’t the only poop-ular character in Catalonian Christmas festivities: There’s also Caga Tio!
“Caga tio” means “the pooping guy,” and yes, he’s pretty much identical in design to the caganer. The big difference is, caga tio figurines and statues are eagerly welcomed INSIDE Catalonian homes during the holiday season.
Historically, caga tio has been depicted as a typical Catalan peasant, in a typical Catalan squat. Nowadays, clever Catalonian businesspersons produce and sell caga tios, and Nativity scene caganers too, in a multitude of designs, including likenesses of movie stars, professional athletes, politicians, cartoon figures, and cartoonish politicians.
Since I’ve been a regular columnist for quite a while now, the Republican hopes to generate some holiday-season profits by making and selling a collectible caganer made in my image. I was all set to sign a deal, but my accountant brother in-law told me to wait; he thinks he can negotiate a better one, for a schijterkes-load more money.