Tió de Nadal

Tio3

The Caga Tió or Tió de Nadal is a Christmas Yule Log specific to Cataluña and Aragon. Translated from Catalan, Caga Tió means, “shitting log”. I believe El Tió predates the introduction of Father Christmas to Cataluña and he performs a similar function, bringing gifts on Christmas Eve, though only small items, as larger presents arrive on Kings Day (the arrival of the Three Wise Men – January 6th).

Traditionally families search for a suitable log at the beginning of December, which they decorate with a face and a little red hat (barretina). From the Immaculate Conception (December 8th) onwards, el Tió should be fed a little each evening and covered with a blanket to keep him warm. On Christmas Eve, children beat the log with a stick and sing this song:

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

“Shit, log, shit nougat (turrón),
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
shit, log!”

Parents and relatives hide small presents under the log’s blanket and when the children beat him with a stick, el Tió appears to shit them out. I believe that naughty children may receive a piece of coal instead of turrón. See this video.

christmas market

christmas market

Wishing to bring you something unusual, Catalan, Christmassy and edible, I scoured the Christmas Market to no avail.

la paradeta del tió

la paradeta del tió

There were plenty of wooden Tiós for those who don’t have time to find and decorate a log, but nothing edible.

la boqueria en la nit

la boqueria en la nit

I got lucky one evening at the front of the Boqueria, which is a part I normally avoid because it’s expensive and mostly of interest to tourists only.

vidal pons

vidal pons

Vidal Pons sell lots of sticky sweets

caramel

caramel

and next to Father Christmas

basket of tió

basket of tió

was a basket of Caga Tiós.

Alternate verses to the Caga Tió song:

“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!”

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Menja bé, caga fort i no tinguis por a la mort – Eat well, shit hard and don’t fear death.

Advertisements

About Mad Dog

https://maddogtvdinners.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Barcelona, Food, Shopping and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Tió de Nadal

  1. Eha says:

    You always hit it right on the nose, don’t you . . . ? Of course idiotic me looked up some of the explanation ere I read the whole post! Methinks the Catalonians know the meaning of ‘logic’ . . . Bon Nadal, Mad, and ‘thank you’ for the year . . .

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Eha. I have to admit that the first time I saw el Tió I thought it was all a big joke, but in actual fact it all comes down to fertility, or fertiliser. Merry Christmas and thanks for joining in 🙂

  2. Lmao! This is amazing. Kids do this? At first I thought you wrote a post about uncle Tony, Nadal’s tennis trainer. But alas it’s even more absurd. I do love that quote at the end and plan to sign off with it in emails to my family from now on. Very cool 🙂

    • Mad Dog says:

      ROFL – thanks Amanda! It’s very real, but there’s not much written history to say when it all started – Franco had all Catalan books burnt and the language was banned!

  3. Michelle says:

    Best Christmas post ever.

  4. Conor Bofin says:

    I love it MD. it gave me a good laugh. I needed it this morning.
    Happy Christmas to you and yours.
    Conor

  5. If anything could restore someone’s faith in Christmas, it’s a candy shitting log. Thanks for this, and Merry Christmas (and all that comes with it)!

  6. I’ve got a feeling the “Shit Log” isn’t going to catch on in the English speaking world….I’m sure Chaucer’s Christmas table would have welcomed a Shitte Logge…..but times have changed..alas.:)

  7. Brilliant post! I didn’t know much about this until my first Christmas in Spain when I bought some figures in a shop for our crib and was horrified (!) when I got them home to find that one was a man squatting down with his trousers round his ankles “doing his business”!! In Andalucia (perhaps elsewhere, am not sure), on Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) we find a huge log (of the tree variety!) and it’s called a Noche Bueno which is lit in the hearth to keep everyone warm throughout the night of festivities. Bon Nadal, Feliz Navidad and thanks for a great year 🙂

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Tanya – I’ve got a few Caganers – they had a new one this year of a butcher, so I bought one for the butchers in Theobalds road – they were absolutely delighted!
      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 🙂

  8. I loved this story – and was educated as well . To laugh as you are being educated is pretty special! Much love and merry christmas my old old friend – we have blogged together for years now – aren’t we clever! Much love celi.

  9. Karen says:

    I’ve never heard of Tió de Nadal…thats so funny. I think I prefer Santa leaving chocolates in my stocking. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s