Different people celebrate Christmas in various ways but all have the same spirit- the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ. Childre...
Different people celebrate Christmas in various ways but all have the same spirit- the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ. Children write lengthy letters to Santa jotting down all their wishes in it and then they feel the countable days as countless. Parents on the other hand are preparing for the celebrations in a different way. They bake cookies for friends and family. Catalonia has another Christmas ritual.
Catalonia is an autonomous region in Spain where the Christmas preparations are 100% more violent and scatological.
Enter Caga Tió, the “shit log.”
Enter Caga Tió, the “shit log” is a Catalan phrase which in English translates to ‘Enter Father Christmas, the "log shit."
The tradition begins on the eve of December 8. The Feast of Immaculate Conception is a public holiday that celebrates Mary’s preservation from original sin. Catalonian families assemble their version of a Yule log called Tió de Nadal on this night. The log is a hollow wooden block which is propped up on stick legs. A smiley face is made on the log and a blanket is adorned to keep it warm. It also wears a red woolen beret called barretina. This is a symbol of the Catalan identity.
Every night children offer food and drink to the log for his digestive tract until the Christmas eve. On the biggest evening, children beat the log and take the shit out of him. When this is done, they return to their bedrooms for praying hauls. Meanwhile, their parents hide presents and candies beneath the blanket.
Children return to the log to see what presents Tió de Nadal has released from his bowels. If they are lucky, there is also a urinated stream of white wine. The festivities end with log’s deuce of smelly salt herring.
When this tradition was initially established, families burnt these logs and spread their ashes across the crops, beds and stables for fertility and prosperity.
Creating logs is a lucrative work that is done by artists called tionaires. An entire business is created around this tradition. Preparations start from February itself so that they are ready to decorate by the summers. Finished products are then sold to Catalan Christmas markets.
Artists start taking orders for logs which are demanded in the style of superheroes or comic characters. They are also demanded in various sizes and replaced in every few days by some. This creates an illusion that the log is growing and bloating with poop and presents.
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