I want to share a very special and unique Christmas tradition from the region where I am from: Catalonia 💛
While the rest of Spain impatiently waits for the arrival of Santa🎅🏻, Catalonia adds its own magical twist to the holiday celebrations with “El Tió de Nadal.“
🪵 El Tió, affectionately known as the “Christmas Log” or “Caga Tió” (pooping log), yes, haha! you’ve read that correctly! is a log with a smiley face, adorned with the traditional Catalan red hat and covered with a warm cozy blanket.
Who puts el Tió de Nadal in their homes?
Each Catalan family has its own Tió de Nadal (the same one every year). Around December 8th this special Christmas log will arrive to each house (put by the parents) where children are waiting impatiently.
Leading up to Christmas children “feed” El Tió small treats like nuts, dried fruits, candies, milk… symbolizing abundance and prosperity.
El Tió de Nadal Song:
On the most important day (Christmas Eve or Christmas Day depending on each household), families gather around El Tió and sing its traditional song called “caga tió“. This song humorously encourage the log to “poop out” presents.
Children take turns beating El Tió with sticks to encourage the “pooping” of gifts. Small surprises, candies, and treats mysteriously appear from under the blanket. Everybody has to make sure they’ve been good through the year, otherwise they will get charcoal!
The Meaning and Origins of El Tió de Nadal:
Originally, it is believed that El Tió represented a magical log that provided warmth during the winter solstice. The rhythmic beating represents a collective effort to awaken the log’s magical powers, encouraging it to “defecate” presents. In its ancient pagan roots, the act of the log “pooping” presents could symbolize fertility and the promise of a fruitful harvest.
I hope that you enjoyed knowing more about this funny and different tradition. Personally is one of my favourite days of the year!
FAQs About Tio De Nadal
What Is Tio De Nadal?
Tió de Nadal is a Catalan Christmas tradition involving a hollow log that “poops” presents for children when they hit it with sticks.
What Color Is Tio De Nadals Hat?
The hat of Tio de Nadal is typically red.
Where Is Tio De Nadal Celebrated?
Tio de Nadal is celebrated in Catalonia, Spain.
What Does Tio De Nadal Mean?
Tio de Nadal translates to “Christmas Log” or “Pooping Log” in English.
P.S. If you enjoyed reading this, visit my blog to know more about Spanish culture.