Scatological Christmas Only in Spain.

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The "Caganer"

In Spain, it is tradition that people build a nativity scene instead of decorating a Christmas tree. In the Autonomic Comunity of Catalonia, many people put a statuettes of "El Caganer" or the great defecator in their nativity scene!:

The Virgin Mary. The three kings. A few wayward sheep. These are the figures one expects to find in a traditional Christmas nativity scene. Not a smartly dressed peasant squatting behind a rock with his rear-end exposed.

Yet statuettes of "El Caganer," or the great defecator in the Catalan language, can be found in nativity scenes, and increasingly on the mantelpieces of collectors, throughout Spain's northeastern Catalonia region, where for centuries symbols of defecation have played an important role in Christmas festivities.

During the holiday season, pastry shops around Catalonia sell sweets shaped like feces, and on Christmas Eve Catalan children beat a hollow log, called the tio, packed with holiday gifts, singing a song that urges it to defecate presents out the other end.


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I'd also like to tell you that in Italy, most of the country eat lentils in porridge for New Year. In Spain, people celebrate the New Year by eating 12 grapes, one per every 12 dings of the clock bell at midnight. This started in 1909, when there was a very good grape season - the grape growers started a campaign proclaiming that if you eat twelve grapes as the clock bell rings the year away, it will bring you good luck for the coming year.

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