Seriously, I’ve never heard of this until today, and I wonder how many R&Sers know of this person. Apparently, in Catalonia there’s a tradition of having a discreet and surreptitious character in the back of a nativity scene taking a dump. This is meant to provide jollity and humor to an otherwise overly serious scene. Does anyone else know of the old story about two Zen monks who wander through the woods sweeping the forest floor? One of them swats supplicants on the butt with a broom to prove how ridiculous the whole affair of “seeking enlightenment” really is.

I see a connection here. I think that el caganer (the shitter) is a variety of butt-swatting Zen master, a sort of coyote or Loki figure that helps people realize it isn’t always important to take things so darned seriously.

Whaddya think?
@ZILLA: Ouch! Hey, that smarts 🙂
@Morganie…good point. I hadn’t considered that view, but it certainly fits with the teachings of the church.