Tió de Nadal: The pooping Catalonian Christmas log

The Tió de Nadal tradition is found in Catalonia, and I think it’s fair to say it’s a little odd to an outsider like me. Each family chooses a log, known as a Tió de Nadal. The Tió de Nadal is given a lovely, big beaming smiling face, along with a traditional Catalan barretina red hat. It all sounds lovely so far, doesn’t it?

Tió de Nadal

On December 8th, which is the day of the Immaculate Conception, children will start to pamper the family’s Tió de Nadal. They feed their log fruit, bread and nuts, and they’ll also put a blanket on it at night so it stays warm, which is actually rather sweet. This carries on right up until Christmas Day, which is where the oddness really kicks in…

Tió de Nadal

Children will gather around the Tió de Nadal on Christmas morning, and sing a lovely festive song which includes lyrics such as:

[Poop]* log, [poop] nougats
Hazelnuts and mató cheese
If you don’t [poop] well, I’ll hit you with a stick

* We say poop… The actual translation begins with an “s” and rhymes with “hit.”

Yep. The point of the log is to feed it up, and then on Christmas Day, beat the new family addition with a stick until it “releases its bowels.” Then, the children collect what’s been deposited, and eat it (I should add it that it poops nuts and other small treats, not actual faecal matter).

After spending most of the month looking at their Tió, most families put it on the fireplace and watch it burn. Although some become rather attached so they keep it for the next year! Rather than sticking to traditional sweets and nuts, some Tió de Nadals have recently started dropping bigger presents, but I’m not sure that’s where I’d want to get my iPad from.

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About Helen Winslade

Helen Winslade

My fondest holiday memories so far are from when I travelled to Rome. Once I made it to the hotel, I chucked my bags on the bed and just went out for a walk, and my first stop was a restaurant (naturally, I love food). The food in Italy is amazing. Even if you just have a pizza, it tastes so much better out there. I won’t even go into how much I loved the ice cream because words cannot do it justice.

We went on a lot of tours while we were out there, but the one that stands out has to be Vatican City. It was one of those tours where you didn’t really listen to much of what your tour guide said, because you were too busy looking at everything and taking all the amazing things in. I took pictures of everything, even down to the floor tiles just because I didn’t want to forget anything.

Helen used to work in our marketing team

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