The tradition of caganer in Catalonia

El caganer

The caganer is a very popular figure of the Christmas holidays in Catalonia.

For many years it has been traditional in Catalonia to put the figure of the caganer with a red barretine in the Christmas nativity scene and we usually find him crouching, with his buttocks in the air. They say that not putting it on brings bad luck to the home, since its feces fertilize the earth and brings luck and joy for the next year.

Read our post and discover the origin and its tradition.


Origin of the caganer

There are several doubts about who invented caganer and its origin. The figure of the caganer was introduced into the mangers at the end of the 17th century. According to the folklorist Joan Amades, the character of the caganer in the popular nativity scene is related to the fertilization rituals shared among many peoples in Europe.

Another hypothesis about the origin of the caganer arose coinciding with an artistic and cultural movement that reflected, through drawings on tiles, episodes of the daily life of Catalan society.

Today, this figure is used to satirize famous people such as actors, politicians, footballers or musicians.


What does caganer mean?

The Caganer is considered a figure of fertility and prosperity. Also, he is a figure of rebellion and mockery towards authority. In ancient times, the figure of caganer was used to ridicule figures of power and religious authorities.


If you visit Barcelona at Christmas, don’t miss the opportunity to see the nativity scenes and discover the different versions of the caganer. Remember that Aerobús takes you to the center of Barcelona from El Prat Airport 365 days a year.