Log in

No account? Create an account
This year's caganer - Chuck Fisher's LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
From Bay Area to Barcelona

[ About me | LiveJournal user info ]
[ Archive | LiveJournal archive ]

This year's caganer [ Wednesday, 23 Dec 09 | 17:45 ]
[My Location |El Masnou (Barcelona) España]
[My Mood |giddygiddy]

This year’s caganer
Hello Kitty

For this year’s caganer, I present to you the one and only Hello Kitty (ハローキティ Harō Kiti?). As you probably know, she is produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, first designed by Ikuko Shimizu. She lives in London, England with her parents and twin sister. The Hello Kitty line has licensing arrangements worth more than $1 billion USD a year in sales. However, I have a suspicion that Terra i Mar didn’t license this particular product.

A caganer is a small statue found in Catalunya and is depicted in the act of defecation. Caganer is Catalan for “shitter”. Traditional Christmas decorations consist of a large model of the city of Bethlehem, similar to the Nativity scenes of the English-speaking world, but encompassing the entire city rather than just the typical manger scene. The caganer is a particular feature of modern Catalan nativity scenes and often tucked away in a corner of the model.

In addition to the traditional caganer design, you can find other characters assuming the “caganer position”, such as nuns, devils, Santa Claus, celebrities, athletes, historical figures, politicians, Spanish royalty, and other famous people past and present. Caganers introduced this year include Hilary Clinton, Tiger Woods and Homer Simpson along with our beloved Hello Kitty. Just days after his election as US president in 2008, a “shitter” of Barack Obama was made available. And of course that was my caganer for last year. (I add one caganer to my collection each year.)

Back in 2005, the Ajuntament de Barcelona (city council) provoked a public outcry by commissioning a nativity scene which did not include a caganer. Many saw this as an attack on Catalan traditions. The local government countered these criticisms by claiming that the caganer was not included because a recent by-law had made public defecation and urination illegal, meaning that the caganer was now setting a bad example. Following a campaign against this decision called Salvem el caganer (Save the shitter), and widespread media criticism, the 2006 nativity restored the caganer, who appeared on the northern side of the nativity near a dry riverbed.

So here is the revealing backside shot of Hello Kitty that proves that she is indeed a true caganer and not some similar looking figure that can be easily purchased in California, but lacking what counts.

Hello Kitty from the backside

Photographer's note: ExpoDisc used for WB. EXIF info intact.


[User Picture]From: qbear
Wednesday, 23 Dec 09 | 17:31 (UTC)
She should have a little pink litter box.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 24 Dec 09 | 06:26 (UTC)

A little pink litter box

I think I have seen those here as one of her "accessories".

Chuck, Bones Festes!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: stoicbear
Wednesday, 23 Dec 09 | 17:33 (UTC)
I like that it's a red poo. :o)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 24 Dec 09 | 06:21 (UTC)


No, it's shit. The verb that originates caganer is cagar which means "to shit". More polite is defecar which means "to defecate". I have asked people who live here and it definitely is "shit". Remember that this is not a British heritage country and there are different cultural norms.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: erstexman
Wednesday, 23 Dec 09 | 20:07 (UTC)
I should have guessed that Hello Kitty's poop would be a deep magenta...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ursine1
Thursday, 24 Dec 09 | 06:25 (UTC)

I should have guessed…

Of course! It's in keeping with the rest of her outfit. She's always color-coordinated.

They also have Hello Kitty car floor mats so you can wipe your dirty shoes all over her face.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)