During this festive season the streets and plazas in Catalunya are decorated with special christmas lighting and trees. Just like in any other country but there is a tradition that is special for Catalunya (and some regions of Aragon): Tió de Nadal.
Tió de Nadal is pooping presents
During December you see the Tiós de Nadal in the shops for you to buy but you see them pop up in more places. Like a big one when you enter a small town, in the shop windows and, of course, in the homes. And some look a bit scary …
I was really wondering what they were, these pieces of wood with a face and red barret and the tradition behind them. It all has to do with Christmas Eve. From December 8 onwards the Tió de Nadal is being fed so he is strong enough to poop the presents on December 24. The children have to take care of the Tió very well if they want him to poop presents. Feed him with fruit but also keep him warm with the blanket. Some parents really keep the story alive by eating the fruit and leaving the peels …
On Christmas Eve the children are sent to another room and on return the ritual starts. The childern beat the Tió to encourage him to poop whilst singing a special song …
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
Under the blanket magically appears the presents. Normally small presents and turrón.
Enjoy this special tradition and buy some turrón which you will find in all kind of varieties. With nuts and honey, chocolate or the turrón de yema, a kind of marsipan. Also try the Catànies turrón … just one big Catànie!