Kicking off the Christmas Crackers series is… Catalonia!

Specialising in all things global, this year we felt like sprucing up the festive period, taking a look at various traditions across the globe. The first in a series of five starts with Catalonia, Spain’s scatological nation!

Tió de Nadal

Christmas is an exciting time within Catalonia and with its rich history and culture come some pretty kooky traditions. Tió de Nadal (“Christmas Log”), or as some say ‘Caga Tió’ (“Pooping Log”), is a popular custom in Catalonia whereby a wooden log is hollowed out with a smiley face and red hat and then placed in the family home, covered with a blanket to keep warm through the following weeks. From the day of Immaculate Conception on the 8th December, the log is then fed until Christmas Eve when, alas, it is beaten with a wooden stick! Family members take it in turn to bash the little log whilst singing traditional songs asking the log to:

caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!”

(poop log,
poop turrón,
hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
if you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
poop log!)

The family then gathers around the log to check underneath the blanket for presents and sweets from the Tió. The story doesn’t end well for the little log either; after enduring the Christmas Eve beating, the log is then placed on the fire to be burned!

Take a look at this YouTube clip to see for yourself and let us know what you think:

Photo source