OUR Spanish neighbours have given an irreverent twist to French politics – with President Hollande proving one of the most popular “caganer” (“crapper”) santon crib figures there this year.
According to www.caganer.com, which specialises in the figures, they have been made in Catalonia (north-east Spain) since the 18th century. The area shares the santon tradition with Provence, but the bare-backsided caganer is a Catalan speciality.
The site says it used to be believed that “the caganer’s fertile deposits will make the soil of the crib rich and productive for the coming year” and putting one in the crib would bring “luck and happiness”.
A spokesman said Hollande was new for this year and was selling well.
“The caganers are most popular in Catalonia and it’s become a habit to have them during Christmas Eve as a sign of good luck – it means the Earth is going to grow and the seeds will do well and the weather will be good. It’s a very positive thing.”
Other options include such figures as Carla Bruni, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, the Pope and a souvenir “Royal Wedding” collection of Kate and William and a guardsman in a bearskin.