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Panda gets unusual Nativity figurine

By Xinhua in Barcelona | China Daily | Updated: 2014-12-18 08:12

This Christmas, the giant panda has its own caganer, a Catalan word that translates most politely as "the defecator" - ceramic figures that are sold at the Fira de Santa Llucia, a Christmas market in the Mediterranean city of Barcelona.

The caganer is a ceramic figure that has traditionally appeared in Christmas Nativity scenes in Catalonia since the 18th century. The traditional caganer figure depicts a peasant wearing the Catalan beret and is considered a symbol of good luck because it fertilizes the earth.

The giant panda caganer was made on the occasion of Beijing Design Week, which was held in Beijing from Sept 26 through Oct 3, with Barcelona as guest city.

Although the panda figure was not displayed at Design Week, Marc Alos, an artisan for the company, told Xinhua that around 300 caganer figures representing celebrities, real life figures and cartoons were shipped to Beijing to be part of the exhibition.

Now the panda figurine has its place on the shelves of the Fira de Santa Llucia, located in the square of the Cathedral of Barcelona, along with other new figures.

Alos said the other new caganers this year include famous actors, such as Humphrey Bogart and Groucho Marx. Important figures of Catalan culture are also represented.

"Sales are going well, but the weather does not help us," Alos said, as recent rain in the city has prevented people from going out to shop.

"The type of product we sell is suitable for everyone - tourists, locals, children and adults," he said. The figures are not only intended for Nativity scenes, but have become a fun souvenir for many tourists to buy for friends and family.

"It may be that 50 percent of our customers are from out of the country, and this helps us," Alos said., a family enterprise, manufactures more than 30,000 figures a year, of which about 10 to 12 percent are bought by customers from abroad, especially from the United States.

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