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The Catalan Christmas tradition: Tió de Nadal

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Every culture that celebrates the holiday of Christmas celebrates in a different way. Many are very similar to each other, but on occasion there is a tradition that seems to boggle the mind even more. In Catalan tradition, the “Christmas Log” defecates the children’s presents on Christmas.

The celebration begins on December 8th when the Christmas Log is given a face to smile at the children and a blanket to keep warm. Every night the children give food to the log and when they awake each morning, the food has been eaten! Finally, Christmas day arrives and the children participate in the final part of the tradition.

All of the children gather around the Christmas Log and begin beating it with sticks. They command the log to defecate out gifts using a song:

Caga tió!
Caga torró,
avellanes i mató!
Si no cagues béet daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!

Translation:

Poop log!
Poop out turrón,
hazelnuts and cottage cheese!
If you don’t poop well, I’ll hit you with a stick,
poop log!

After hitting the log and singing the song, the blanket covering the log is removed to reveal the gifts. After a month of feeding the log, Christmas gifts have been defecated out!

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3 responses »

  1. Hi! I’m from Catalunya and I used to do this every Christmas! It just made me laugh as I read it because it can sound quite weird…
    The only difference is the song I sang was not this one although it was quite similar:)

    Reply
  2. Hi, I’m a writer based out of Tampa, United States and I located your site via https://professorelliot.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/the-catalan-christmas-tradition-tio-de-nadal/. Would you have any advice for those considering blogging? I’m working on launching my own blog
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    Reply
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      Reply

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