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Tió de Nadal

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Title: Tió de Nadal  
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Tió de Nadal

The Tió de Nadal (Catalan pronunciation: , Western Catalan: ; meaning in English "Christmas Log"), also known simply as Tió ("Trunk" or "Log", a big piece of cut wood) or Tronca ("Log"), is a character in Aragones and Catalan mythology relating to a Christmas tradition widespread in Aragon and Catalonia. A similar tradition exists in other places, such as the Cachafuòc or Soc de Nadal in Occitania. In Aragon it is also called Tizón de Nadal or Toza.


  • Overview 1
  • Caga tió song 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Often popularly called Caga tió ("Shitting log", "Poo log"),[1] the form of the Tió de Nadal found in many Aragones and Catalan homes during the holiday season is a hollow log about thirty centimetres long. Recently, the Tió has come to stand up on two or four stick legs with a broad smiling face painted on its higher end, enhanced by a little red sock hat (a miniature of the traditional barretina) and often a three-dimensional nose. Those accessories have been added only in recent times, altering the more traditional and rough natural appearance of a dead piece of wood.

Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), one gives the tió a little bit to "eat" every night and usually covers him with a blanket so that he will not be cold. The story goes that in the days preceding Christmas, children must take good care of the log, keeping it warm and feeding it, so that it will poop presents on Christmas Day, hence the name caga tio (literally, "poo log").[2]

On Christmas day or, in some households, on Christmas Eve, one puts the tió partly into the fireplace and orders it to defecate. The fire part of this tradition is no longer as widespread as it once was, since many modern homes do not have a fireplace. To make it defecate, one beats the tió with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal.

The tradition says that before beating the tió all the kids have to leave the room and go to another place of the house to pray, asking for the tió to deliver a lot of presents. This makes the perfect excuse for the relatives to do the trick and put the presents under the blanket while the kids are praying.

The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are considered to be brought by the Three Wise Men.[3] It does leave candies, nuts and torrons. Depending on the region of Catalonia, it may also give out dried figs. When nothing is left to "shit", it drops a salt herring, a head of garlic, an onion, or it "urinates" by leaving a bowl of water. What comes out of the Tió is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone there.

In addition to the names listed in the opening paragraph, the additional nickname Caga tió (pronounced:   or , "shitting log")[4] derives from the many songs of Tió de Nadal that begin with this phrase, which was originally (in the context of the songs) an imperative ("Shit, log!"). The use of this expression as a name is not believed to be part of the ancient tradition.

Caga tió song

Beating the Tió de Nadal

A song is sung during this celebration. After hitting the tió softly with a stick during the song, it is hit harder on the words Caga tió! Then somebody puts their hand under the blanket and takes a gift. The gift is opened and then the song begins again. There are many different songs; the following are some examples.

"Caga tió,

caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!"

shit, log,

shit nougats (turrón),
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don't shit well,
I'll hit you with a stick,
shit, log!

Two alternative versions go something like this:

"Caga tió,

tió de Nadal,
no caguis arengades,
que són massa salades
caga torrons
que són més bons!"

shit, log,

log of Christmas,
don't shit herrings,
they are too salty,
shit nougats (turrón)
they are much better!

"Tronca de Nadal,

Caga torrons,
pixa vi blanc,
no caguis arengades,
que són massa salades
caga torrons
que són més bons!"

log of Christmas,

shit nougats,
pee white wine,
don't shit herrings,
they are too salty,
shit nougats (turrón)
they are much better!

See also


  1. ^ Tis the season: How Christmas is celebrated around the world"'". The Independent. 23 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Patge, Gregori (2010). Catalan Mythology: Aragones and Catalan Mythology about Witches, Tubal, Tió de Nadal, Minairó, Aloja, Dip, Catalan Myths and Legends (1st ed.). UK: General Books LLC.  
  3. ^ "Christmas in Barcelona". International House Language Services. 
  4. ^ Letcher, Piers (17 November 2005). "A continental Christmas". The Guardian. 

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