Great news, Formula One fans: You can buy ceramic figurines of your favorite drivers mooning all onlookers for Christmas! Because nothing says the holidays quite like butts.
As many of my oldest friends know, I have a problem. That problem is scouring the deepest, darkest corners of the internet for any scrap of F1 content I can find. In one case, it has resulted in a truly exceptional collection of 1970s F1 drivers in Speedos at Kyalami Ranch.
Now, though, it has resulted in my discovery of mooning F1 driver figurines. Here’s Renault-era Fernando Alonso:
If you were less of a Renault fan and more about the old Italian Stallion, you could also get a Ferrari version:
If you’re wondering what the hell these things are and how they translate into Christmas, well, that’s what I’m here for.
These photos came from the Santa Lucia Fair in Barcelona, Spain back in 2009. Saint Lucy was venerated by the Church for a former suitor exposing her as Christian, which resulted in her eyes being gouged out before execution. Her feast day is on December 13, which means Saint Lucy tends to have some vague associations with the Christmas season.
My main concern here is not so much Saint Lucy, nor her fair, but the concept of the caganer. Here’s a Lewis Hamilton caganer:
The caganer is a Catalonian Christmas tradition, and you’ll often find it in a nativity scene. And it’s... a thing. A whole scatological thing.
Caganer literally means “the shitter” in Catalan, so the poop here... it makes sense. True caganers usually depict well-known icons pooping. But the big question is, why on earth is this a Christmas phenomenon?
The caganer traces its roots back to Ye Oldene Dayse, with examples of prominent pooping figurines being found as early as the 18th century.
Here’s pooping Sebastian Vettel:
Basically, this stems from the old idea of poop as a good thing because for peasants, poop was fertilizer. The more poop, the better your crop.
So, it kind of became a symbol for prosperity — and it was tied in with good, old-fashioned poop humor. You pop your little pooping statue in your Christmas nativity scene, and you invite your family and friends to find it. Apparently, countryside folks needed to have one of these caganers in their nativity scene or else suffer the wrath of a poor harvest.
So, the caganer feeds on old-timey superstitions that are not at all mocking. There’s a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor here, but you can think of it more as an homage to an icon than some sort of blasphemy. It’s more about uniting humanity through the one less-than-savory need we all have to indulge in: Pooping.