A popular and much loved Catalan Christmas figure, this small statue, originally of a pooping peasant wearing traditional floppy red Catalan cap (barretina), crouches with trousers half down, in a ‘toilet’ position, making his small contribution to the land. He might be smoking a pipe or reading a newspaper to better pass the time!
These pooey Catalan traditions may shed some light on the popular Catalan saying
“menja bé, caga fort i no tinguis por a la mort!” (Eat well, poo strong and don’t be afraid of death!)
Perpignan has been elected ‘Capital de la Sardana 2019’ as the official dance of Catalonia is elevated to the rank of art.
Here in Catalonia, All Saints’ Day and the evening before are known as the Castanyada, (’Fête de la châtaigne’ in French) meaning Day of the Chestnut.
Traditionally, ‘castanyes’ (roast chestnuts) are eaten along with ‘moniatos’ (roast sweet potatoes) and ‘panellets’ (small almond balls covered in pine nuts).
The first midsummer fire on Canigou in modern times was lit on 23 June 1955 by Francois Poujade and fellow USAP rugby fanatics – both to celebrate his birthday and Perpignan’s victory over FC Lourdes in the Yves du Manoir Challenge cup.
No event in the Catalan calendar is more important than Els Focs de la Sant Jean or The Fires of St John, our mid-summer rites held on the region’s sacred mountain, Canigou (2,784 metres), and in towns and villages right across Catalonia.
Gégants are enormous painted figures, several metres tall, constructed on a wooden framework with heads made from paper maché and plaster of paris – a tradition which goes back to the Middle Ages, depicting religious figures in parades.
Taking place on or around 23rd April each year, a date linked to literature and popular tradition, the festival of Sant Jordi celebrates the Patron saint of Catalonia, French equivalent of St George, a Christian Roman soldier, who was martyred around 303AD for refusing to renounce Christianity
The Easter Omelette, or ‘Omelette Pascale is more than just a recipe in Catalonia – it’s a whole tradition!
According to legend, Napoleon Bonaparte was travelling across southern France with his army, when he first tasted an omelette prepared for him at an inn near Bessières. He was so impressed that he had a giant omelette made for his troops the very next day. What a nice man!