Tió de Nadal
Photograph of a typical contemporary Tió
The Tió de Nadal (Catalan pronunciation:
The form of the Tió de Nadal found in many Aragonese and Catalan homes during the holiday season is a hollow log about thirty centimetres long. Recently, the Tió has come to stand up on two or four stick legs with a broad smiling face painted on its higher end, enhanced by a little red sock hat (a miniature of the traditional
Beginning with the Feast of the
On Christmas Day or, in some households, on
The tradition says that before beating the tió all the kids have to leave the room and go to another place of the house to pray, asking for the tió to deliver a lot of presents. Nowadays, the praying tradition has been left behind. Still, children go to a different room, usually the kitchen, to warm their stick next to a fire. This makes the perfect excuse for the relatives to do the trick and put the presents under the blanket while the kids are praying or warming their sticks.
The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are considered to be brought by the
The tió is often popularly called Caga tió ("shitting log", "poo log"). This derives from the many songs of Tió de Nadal that begin with this phrase, which was originally (in the context of the songs) an imperative ("Shit, log!"). The use of this expression as a name is not believed to be part of the ancient tradition.