Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Our Christmas Log

Meet Caga Tio, our dear Christmas log.
After studying for a semester in Barcelona, I brought home this miniature version of the traditional Catalan holiday figure. He has a great spot on our mantle.
Have you ever seen one of these?
Caga Tio {wikipedia knows all the good details}

Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to "eat" every night and usually covers him with a little blanket so that he will not be cold at night.

On Christmas day or, depending on the particular household, on Christmas Eve, one puts the tió partly into the fireplace and orders it to "poop" (the fire part of this tradition is no longer as widespread as it once was, since many modern homes do not have a fireplace). To make him "poop", one beats him with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal.

The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are brought by the Three Wise Men. It does leave candies, nuts and torrons. Depending on the part of Catalonia, it may also give out dried figs. When nothing is left to "poop", it drops a salt herring, a head of garlic, an onion or "urinates". What comes out of the tió is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone present.


The Catalans have a great sense of humor :)


Emmy's Poppa said...

Hmmmmm. Think I'll stick to tinsel & garland!!! :)

susan said...

You couldn't make this stuff up!


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