Forget your Elf on the Shelf we have a Caga Tió the pooping log!
That’s right, while Americans might have their magical Elf on the Shelf, here in Barcelona they have Caga Tió, the pooping log. The traditional name for this is actually “Tió De Nadal” – which translates to Christmas Log. However, the more popular and fun name is Caga (shit) Tió (Log). Some people (like me) mistake this for “shitting uncle” because tió is uncle in Spanish.
Catalan is not Spanish. Feliz Navidad may be Merry Christmas in Spanish but in Catalan it’s Bon Nadal.
On December 8th (the date of the immaculate conception) families put out their caga tió and the children are told to take care of it by “feeding” it each night and to keep it warm, so they put a blanket over it. Then on Christmas Day the children are told to go in another room to pray, when they come back into the room they sing the caga tió song and while beating the log with a stick. Then like magic, under the blanket they find presents. The traditional version of this is that the log is suppose to only leave candy, nuts and dried fruit, but like any great tradition comes great marketing.
This is one version of the Caga Tió song.
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
shit nougats (turrón),
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
Clearly we HAD to have one, and since we somehow lost our Elf on the Shelf this is a great replacement! Especially since I don’t have to move the damn log every night.
Do you know of any other odd Holiday traditions around the world?