Thursday, January 28, 2016

Xmas Is Full of Shit, and This Proves It



El Caganer
A fantastic Christmas tradition where defecation meets the manger
           

Atlas Obscura  contributor: serflac
No doubt we are all familiar with the obligatory baby Jesus in the manger scene rolled out every Christmas, but the early 18th-century inhabitants of Catalonia, Italy, and certain areas of Southern France started a different tradition that lives on to this day.

Unlike the English-speaking version of the Nativity scene, Catalonians at Christmas time actually build a large model of the city of Bethlehem. The caganer, whose origins have been lost in time, is a particular and highly popular feature of these modern interpretations.

Often tucked away into a small corner of the nativity scene, one can find a lone figure caught in the act of defecation. There are more than a handful of guesses as to how and why this tradition started ranging from the figure representing the equality of all people (everyone poops!) or that is symbolizes the idea that God will manifest himself when he is ready, without regard whether humans are ready for him. Still others believe it is a tradition grown from comic relief.

Whatever your thoughts, if you find yourself traveling in the region around Christmas time it's highly encouraged to take a second look at the scaled down Bethlehem and see if you can find their little "caganer."


If you’ve guessed that el caganer has caused controversy over the years, you’re correct. Everybody from priests to community leaders have tried to get rid of him. The Franco regime even attempted to have him banned at one point, fearing that el cagner was a destructive symbol of Catalan nationalism. City officials in Barcelona tried to do the same in 2005 because they were worried that he encouraged public defecation. Despite their efforts, five years later, one of the city’s shopping malls proudly featured the “World’s Largest Caganer.” It was 19 feet tall and landed in Guinness World Records.






No one is safe - not even the Pope!  

 
and the video shows you lots more of the more traditional figure...



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And then there’s more fecal frolic with Tio' de Nadal
from: Wikipedia
 

The Tió de Nadal (Catalan pronunciation: [tiˈo ðə nəˈðaɫ], Western Catalan: [tiˈo ðe naˈðaɫ]; meaning in English "Christmas Log"), also known simply as Tió ("Trunk" or "Log", a big piece of cut wood) or Tronca ("Log"), is a character in Aragonese and Catalan mythology relating to a Christmas tradition widespread in Aragon and Catalonia. A similar tradition exists in other places, such as the Cachafuòc or Soc de Nadal in Occitania. In Aragon it is also called Tizón de Nadal or Toza.

The form of the Tió de Nadal found in many Aragones and Catalan homes during the holiday season is a hollow log about thirty centimetres long. Recently, the Tió has come to stand up on two or four stick legs with a broad smiling face painted on its higher end, enhanced by a little red sock hat (a miniature of the traditional barretina) and often a three-dimensional nose. Those accessories have been added only in recent times, altering the more traditional and rough natural appearance of a dead piece of wood.

Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to "eat" every night and usually covers him with a blanket so that he will not be cold. The story goes that in the days preceding Christmas, children must take good care of the log, keeping it warm and feeding it, so that it will poop presents on Christmas Day.

On Christmas day or, in some households, on Christmas Eve, one puts the tió partly into the fireplace and orders it to defecate. The fire part of this tradition is no longer as widespread as it once was, since many modern homes do not have a fireplace. To make it defecate, one beats the tió with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal.

The tradition says that before beating the tió all the kids have to leave the room and go to another place of the house to pray, asking for the tió to deliver a lot of presents. This makes the perfect excuse for the relatives to do the trick and put the presents under the blanket while the kids are praying.
The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are considered to be brought by the Three Wise Men. It does leave candies, nuts and torrons. Depending on the region of Catalonia, it may also give out dried figs. When nothing is left to "shit", it drops a salt herring, a head of garlic, an onion, or it "urinates" by leaving a bowl of water. What comes out of the Tió is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone there.

The tió is often popularly called Caga tió ("Shitting log", "Poo log"),. This derives from the many songs of Tió de Nadal that begin with this phrase, which was originally (in the context of the songs) an imperative ("Shit, log!"). The use of this expression as a name is not believed to be part of the ancient tradition.

Caga tió song

A song is sung during this celebration. After hitting the tió softly with a stick during the song, it is hit harder on the words Caga tió! Then somebody puts their hand under the blanket and takes a gift. The gift is opened and then the song begins again. There are many different songs; the following are some examples.

"Caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!"
shit, log,
shit nougats (turrón),
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don't shit well,
I'll hit you with a stick,
shit, log!

Three alternative versions go something like this:

"Tió tió,
"Caga torró,
d'aquell tant bó,
si no en tens més, caga diners,
si no en tens prou, cagan's un ou
Tió tió
'caga torró!"
log, log,
shit nougats (turrón),
the ones that are so good,
if you don't have more, shit money,
if you don't have enough, shit us an egg.
Tió tió,
shit nougats (turrón)

"Caga tió,
tió de Nadal,
no caguis arengades,
que són massa salades
caga torrons
que són més bons!"
shit, log,
log of Christmas,
don't shit herrings,
they are too salty,
shit nougats (turrón)
they are much better!

"Tronca de Nadal,
Caga torrons,
pixa vi blanc,
no caguis arengades,
que són massa salades
caga torrons
que són més bons!"
log of Christmas,
shit nougats,
pee white wine,
don't shit herrings,
they are too salty,
shit nougats (turrón)
they are much better!


 There are public poop log celebrations for the gregarious.  You can beat the shit out of a log at the mall!

“Show full of rhythm, action and color; basics to keep the attention of the little ones. These are the tools we will use our animators in the various sessions of the show: a giant Tio has come loaded with toys and is about to explode !!
During the 2h show, stories are counted, puppets appear and sing songs, all set within the holiday animation and small sessions of 15 minutes or always ending animation Caga uncle.
All participants can do "shit" Uncle and can take home a small gift!”   source

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