Christmas tradition: Caga Tio

Dec 24, 2011 | Barcelona Guide

When you are in Catalonia during the holiday season, there are some Christmas traditions you should know about. When you visit one of the Christmas markets, you will probably notice pieces of wood with a face on it. Would you like to know what this is? Read on!

This Christmas tradition has a name. The pieces of wood are called “Caga Tio”.

How do you recognize “Caga Tio”?

Caga Tio” is a piece of wood with a face on it. It can have different sizes. “Caga Tio” wears a red hat, typical Catalan, called “barretina”. Sometimes they also have a blanket and are they provided with a stick.

Now you know what a “Caga Tio” looks like, but what is the tradition?

On the 8th of December the Catalan children receive “Caga Tio”. Every day from the 8th of December till Christmas, the children take care of their “Caga Tio”. They keep it warm with a blanket and they feed it “turron”. This is something they eat during Christmas; it looks a bit like nougat.

After the Christmas dinner, “Caga Tio” provides the dessert. The children hit it with a stick and sing a song. The children receive candy and small gifts from “Caga Tio”. They can be inside the log, or in the blanket. After the gifts are opened, the hitting and singing starts again.

The name “Caga Tio” means “poo log”. It may sound a bit weird to you, children hit a piece of wood and receive gifts, but now you know the story behind “Caga Tio”.  Next time you see this Christmas item at one of the Christmas markets, you know what it means and that makes it much more interesting.

When you stay in our apartments Barcelona during the holiday season, you should visit a Christmas market and take a look at all the Christmas items they sell. You will see lots of stands selling “Caga Tio” as well!