Feeding the Poop Log: A Catalan Christmas Tradition

catalan log tio Caga Tió: A Catalan Log

Apparently this Christmas Eve, my kids will start what they hope will become a new family tradition: whacking a festive poop log.

Tió de Nadal (Christmas log) is a hollow log with stick legs, a smiley face, and a floppy red hat. My middle-schooler son learned in Spanish class about this Christmas tradition in Spain’s Catalan region. The log’s other name is Caga Tió, or “poop log.” Once he heard about it, he was hooked and we now have a homemade Catalan log under our tree, too.

Here’s how the tradition works:

On Dec. 8 each year — the Feast of the Immaculate Conception — families bring out the log. Every night until Dec. 24, children “feed” the log by offering him nuts, dried fruit etc. Kids must also cover Tió de Nadal with a blanket.

On Christmas Eve, kids tap the log with sticks while singing the traditional Tió de Nadal song, then peek under the blanket to find that the log has pooped out a pile of candies including a Spanish nougat called turrón and presents.

Every kids’ dream. Not making this up. Watch this.  

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