The World's weirdest Christmas traditions

Today we want to introduce the Caga Tió (the mighty shitting log) and the Caganer (the sitting shitter), our most beloved Christmas traditions in Catalonia. Every single time I try to explain it to non-Catalan people, they think we are nuts.

Let's start with our good friend Caga Tió, the Catalan equivalent of Santa Claus. He is the one pooping out presents on Christmas eve! Unlike Santa Claus, the Caga Tió is pretty rustic. He is basically a wood log with a smily face and a barretina, the traditional Catalan hat. Most people make their own, so they come in all sizes and shapes.

About 2 weeks before Christmas, every family places their Caga Tió in a cozy corner of the living room, preferably by the fire place so he feels nice and warm. The children of the house need to feed him every day, they take care of him as if he would be a pet. A traditional Caga Tió diet consists in orange peels, nuts and dry bread. The rules are simple, the more goes in, the more comes out.

On Christmas Eve, he is carefully covered with a blanket to protect him from the cold. At that point everybody makes sure he looks fat and happy, because a sad and hungry log is a poor gift giver.

Once the dinner is over, the Caga Tió celebration starts. All the members of the family take turns to beat him with a stick, while singing an encouraging song. It is a proven fact that doing so helps him to smoothly poop out the best presents.



In our family, the Caga Tió festival ends when he poops a piece of dirty toilet paper! That way everybody knows that Mr. Caga Tió has pooped out all the presents for this year.

If you think this is gross, just wait to hear about the Caganer (the sitting shitter). This handsome fellow is a traditional figurine in Catalan nativity scenes, and the main point is to hide him somewhere among the other nativity characters. He (or she, but normally it’s a he) also wears a traditional barretina, and is always pictured in a crapping position.

In theory, the Caganer is giving baby Jesus the gift of fertility, how cute is that?

Even the smallest villages in Catalonia normally features a big nativity scene during Christmas, and it is common to see whole families trying to figure out just where the Caganer is taking his dump this year. Behind a bush or house corner is normally a good place to start looking.


It has also became increasingly popular to feature famous people as the Caganer. So how about a crapping Messi (or perhaps Angela Merkel if you are all for gender equality) for next Christmas?

Yes, we are nuts.

May all of you have a very Merry Christmas full of pooped presents!

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