Caga Tió - A Catalan Christmas Tradition

Copyright 2011, Bill Yovino, All rights reserved.
Copyright 2011, Bill Yovino, All rights reserved.

A Caga Tió (or Tio de Nadal) is a log that poops candy and presents at Christmas. Children beat it with sticks and sing songs until it does its business.

At first glance, this Christmas tradition from the Catalonia region of Spain seems completely bizarre. My son decided to build a Caga Tio as a joke, but we have since become enamored with the idea.

An example from YouTube

Make your own Caga Tió

Find a suitable log - the size is up to you. If you want a Caga Tió just for a display, you can make it as small as you like. If you plan to use it as intended and want it to poop presents and candy for your children, you'll want something a bit larger...like a fireplace log. In fact, part of the tradition is to burn the log in the fireplace once he has completed his job.

If you can find a log that has branches in the proper configuration for the legs, all you have to do is cut them down to the proper length. If not, you can drill two holes and insert branches for the legs. Drill a hole for the nose and insert a piece of wooden dowel or a piece of a branch.

Finishing touches

Paint the eyes, nose, and mouth, Add a hat (ideally a Catalan berretina , but a Santa hat will do nicely). Cover the Caga Tió with a blanket. You'll also need some sticks so the kids can persuade the Caga Tió to drop his log, so to speak.

Get some candy and small toys for Caga Tió to poop out (actually just hidden under the blanket). You may want to make up your own Caga Tió song as the traditional one seems to lose something in translation.

The Caga Tió Song

Catalan
English
Caga tió,
Sh*t log,
tió de Nadal,
log of Christmas,
no caguis arengades,
don't sh*t herrings,
que són massa salades
which are too salty,
caga torrons
sh*t turrón
que són més bons!
which is much better!

Make it your own tradition

Make it fun by going into the woods as a family to find the perfect log for your Caga Tió. Let the kids help paint the face and welcome him into your home. The kids should leave raisins and nuts on a plate for Caga Tió to build up his strength.

When you think about it, does this make any less sense than a fat man in a red suit delivering toys by way of a chimney? Let your kids experience the tradition of another culture and just have fun with it! Life is too short not to have a log that poops gifts.

Here is another story about Christmas - My Favorite Christmas

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

daisynicolas profile image

daisynicolas 4 years ago from Alaska

Excellent exhibition of another culture's Christmas celebration! Besides learning a different activity for the kids, both adults and children can learn to speak Catalan.


Bill Yovino profile image

Bill Yovino 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the comments. It is a new tradition in our house.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

This must be where they got the idea for the plastic animals, which 'deliver' chocolate morsels, and which can be found in gift shops at Christmas. My kids used to find them hilarious :)


Bill Yovino profile image

Bill Yovino 4 years ago Author

Hi Trish_M. I haven't seen those plastic animals but if I do, they'll be added to our tradition. "Deliver" is an excellent choice of words :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working