Each December 8th, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, families in the Catalonian region of Spain bring out Tió de Nadal or Caga Tió (which means “shitting log”). The log is painted with a smiling face and stands on two tiny stick legs.
Every night until the 24th, as tradition dictates, the children are instructed to give the tió a little bite to “eat” and cover him with a blanket to keep him warm and cozy. On Christmas Eve, the tió is placed partly under his blanket and the children order it to defecate. The children beat the log with sticks, while singing the Tió de Nadal song, in order to make it shit presents.
Parents place presents under the log’s blanket while the children close their eyes and pray for the really good shit.
The children’s song to Caga Tió is absolutely adorable:
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
Here are some children getting very excited for the poop bounty they are about to receive:
Logs of different sizes are used by the parents to simulate the log “growing” from the food given to it by the children. It teaches the children a valuable lesson about caring for and nurturing something just before you literally beat the shit out of it with a stick on Christmas.
Coaxing turds from Caga Tió is a wonderful Christmas custom, but not the only scatalogical Catalonian tradition. Even more popular and beloved is the Caganer, whose name literally translates to “the crapper” or “the shitter”. The Caganer is a figurine, traditionally in peasant garb, who is bent over and taking a dump. This figurine is placed among the other figures in the Nativity Scene. The figure is hidden away in the Nativity and the children are instructed to try and find the Caganer.
It’s not known for certain why the pooping character has been added to the Nativity, but it seems to have been around since at least the 18th Century. Some claim that the character represents fertilization of the Earth and others believe the Caganer represents “the spoil-sport we all have within us.” No one is really sure, but the character maintains a massive popularity despite some governmental attempts to ban the public display.
The Caganer statuettes are sometimes fashioned in the likeness of well-known figures from pop culture or politics.
The Caganer is very popular with children. What child doesn’t want a little pooping guy coloring book? Finally a good use for that brown crayon! There’s also a sort of Where’s Waldo—if Waldo was a little shitter.
The Catalonians love that little crappin’ dude.
The following celebrity Caganers can be obtained via Caganer.com:
Caganer Pope Francis
Even Caga Tió shows up as a Caganer
...And check out this giant public Christmas crapper. The soundtrack is the icing on the turd: