Entertainment And News

Catalans Have A Unique Christmas Tradition That Involves Beating A Log That Poops Gifts

Photo: Ivan Marc / Shutterstock.com
Caga Tio poop logs for Christmas

The autonomous community in Spain, Catalonia, has some very interesting Christmas traditions and celebrations that tend to begin on December 8th with the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

While most of us opt-in to the commercialized depiction of Christmas with the trees and the lights and all of the holiday shopping, Catalans celebrate and give gifts through a poop log.

Meet Caga Tió, or Tió de Nadal, the Catalonian Christmas poop log.

The name “Caga Tió” quite literally translates to poop log, while the other name translates to "Christmas Log," and is exactly what you’d expect it to be — a log from a tree that poops out gifts and has a face on it.

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That’s not what you expected? Well what if I told you that Catalans actually retrieve this log, starting on December 8th with the Immaculate Conception of Mary’s feast, and “feed” it all the way until Christmas in order to get the gifts that it poops out.

Of course, it only works if you beat the presents out of the log, otherwise, it won’t poop.

The log usually stands on it’s two front legs, but sometimes can stand on all fours and is also covered by a blanket.

Caga Tió gives kids a nice warm smile all through December as he gets fed by the children and their families, until the time comes for the kids to warm up their beating sticks and beat the presents out of him like a pinata.

Likely resonating from the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the kids need to “feed” the log in order to get anything for Christmas, and when the time comes, kids will usually leave the room and warm up their poop log beating sticks while the presents get placed under the blanket by the parents.

The presents are usually on the smaller side since they need to fit around the log and under the blanket without giving anything away — they’re also usually communal and include food, although I don’t know why someone would want to eat food from Caga Tió.

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One of these foods that were popular to give during the Caga Tió tradition was turrón, which is a nougat traditionally made of egg white, honey or sugar, and almonds.

They are fashioned into many different shapes and sizes varying from whole cakes to little bite-sized pieces or slices, and also come in many different flavors like caramel, chocolate, fruit, and even liqueur-filled versions.

The celebration of Caga Tió also comes with a song that goes:

Caga tió, (Poop log)

tió de Nadal, (Log of Christmas)

no caguis arengades (Don't poop salted herring)

que són massa salads (They are too salty)

caga torrons (Poop turróns)

que són més bons! (They are much better!)

All through the holidays, Catalans sell the logs and the turrons that come along with him.

While a lot of the older traditions like praying and setting the log on fire in order to celebrate the warmth and the light that nature give have gone away, the Caga Tió tradition is still very popular even as Catalans have started opting into the Christmas tree tradition as well.

Maybe that means the U.S. should start adopting the poop log tradition, but starting next year since this holiday season is almost over.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

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