Tag Archives: spain

Caganer for Christmas

Giant Caganer

Here’s my semi-regular post around the holidays about my very, very favorite holiday tradition: the Caganer and Caga Tio. I’ve posted about this several times in the past, and it just never gets old.  Thank you, Catalonia,  for such a wonderfully strange tradition.

I love the fact that pop culture figures get reimagined by this tradition every year…just take a look at the Google Image search to see what I mean. More info also over at Time magazine.

And thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can even print your own.

PatRec from Christmas Past – Caga Tio

Way back in 2008 I wrote up my absolute favorite Christmas tradition, from Cataluna in Spain: Caga Tio. If you don’t know about this _awesome_ tradition, you really should click through and read about it:

Catalan families go into the woods and find a Christmas Log (Tio de Nadal) to bring into their home. It’s painted or otherwise decorated with a face, and wrapped in a blanket. Over the weeks before Christmas, the Caga Tio is fed sweets and other treats, in order to get him ready for the command performance on Christmas. After weeks of being fed, the Caga Tio is ready. He is then beaten with sticks by the children of the family until he poops out treats for the children, usually in the form of the Catalan treat called turron. Yes…the log poops out the children’s treats, which they then consume. Caga Tio literally translates into “Pooping Log”.

Love this tradition, mainly because it’s sounds so crazy to Americans.

Blast from holidays past

I just wanted to call some attention to one of my all-time favorite posts here on Pattern Recognition, which honors a holiday tradition from one of my favorite areas of the world, the Catalan region of Spain. I posted this last Holiday season, but in reading it, it just never gets old.

The Story of Caga Tió

Catalan families go into the woods and find a Christmas Log (Tió de Nadal) to bring into their home. It’s painted or otherwise decorated with a face, and wrapped in a blanket. Over the weeks before Christmas, the Caga Tió is fed sweets and other treats, in order to get him ready for the command performance on Christmas. After weeks of being fed, the Caga Tió is ready. He is then beaten with sticks by the children of the family until he poops out treats for the children, usually in the form of the Catalan treat called turron. Yes…the log poops out the children’s treats, which they then consume. Caga Tió literally translates into “Pooping Log”.

Go read the rest of the post. Really. There’s even a video…it’s worth it, I promise.

Caga Tio

I thought that I had blogged about this before, but I can’t seem to find it in my archives, so maybe I’m wrong. One of my all time favorite Christmas traditions is from Spain, specifically from the Catalan region around Barcelona, and it involves something called Caga Tio.

I couldn’t make up a stranger Christmas tradition if I tried. Seriously.

Catalan families go into the woods and find a Christmas Log (Tio de Nadal) to bring into their home. It’s painted or otherwise decorated with a face, and wrapped in a blanket. Over the weeks before Christmas, the Caga Tio is fed sweets and other treats, in order to get him ready for the command performance on Christmas. After weeks of being fed, the Caga Tio is ready. He is then beaten with sticks by the children of the family until he poops out treats for the children, usually in the form of the Catalan treat called turron. Yes…the log poops out the children’s treats, which they then consume. Caga Tio literally translates into “Pooping Log”.

For whatever reason, the Catalan people are somewhat obsessed with scatology and Christmas. Their other big tradition involves the Caganer, a figure that is included as a part of the traditional Nativity display. As you can probably guess from what you now know about Caga Tio, the Caganer is literally a “pooper”, a figure that is caught mid-defecation. It’s actually considered an honor to be made into a Caganer figure, although it made news when President-Elect Obama was so honored in Spain this year.

There are dozens of videos of the tradition up on YouTube, but here’s one that is nicely put together that illustrates the tradition.