Caga Tio: The World's Misunderstood Yule Log
December 9, 2008 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Caga Tio: The World's Misunderstood Yule Log (NSFW) El Tío de Nadal, better known as Caga Tío, is a Catalan Christmas tradition.

On Christmas day or, depending on the particular household, on Christmas eve, you put the ‘tió’ partly into the fireplace and order it to “poo”. To make him “poo”, you beat him with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal.

caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!"

(poop log,
poop turrón,
hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
if you don't poop well,
I'll hit you with a stick,
poop log!)

Videos of Caga Tio in action.

Also, don't forget the other fecally festive Catalan holiday tradition, the Caganer.
posted by Stewriffic (10 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Inspired by this mecha post, which features the caganer version of the US president-elect.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:57 PM on December 9, 2008

Also mentioned previously.
posted by Demogorgon at 6:15 PM on December 9, 2008

posted by Rock Steady at 7:29 PM on December 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

LOL! i had no idea. shows how little i know of my catalá heritage but it explains why Puerto Ricans always end up talking about shit. Literally. Puerto Rico had a huge influx of catalanes via Las Canarias in the middle of the 19th century.
posted by liza at 7:34 PM on December 9, 2008

i keep imagining that song sung to the tune of the ren & stimpy log commercial.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 8:03 PM on December 9, 2008

Dude, haha!

I was teaching English in Tarragona (hour south of Barcelona) last school year and when the other Catalan teacher tried to explain this to me before the actual "ceremony", I was laughing my ass off. She's pantomiming the scene, making whacking gestures followed by pooping motions, and all I'm really picking up is the words gift and poop.

It wasn't until maybe an hour after the kids all did it that I'd figured out what the whole thing was. Just me standing with mouth gaping, chuckling throughout the whole ridiculous, mind-blowing show of 6-year olds hitting the fuck out of an anthropomorphic log while demanding it to shit out candy for them.

I came to realize that was only the first of many brain-boggling things I was to witness there...
posted by Drainage! at 9:42 PM on December 9, 2008

Yes, there's this scatologic fascination* in Catalunya: can't remember where I read that in Barcelona, the two creeks that used to be where the Ramblas and the Via Laietana now are, were called "Merdanca" and "Cagalell".

*or, perhaps, they just did not entirely remove from their culture the fact that sewers and bathrooms are a very recent invention.
posted by _dario at 12:21 AM on December 10, 2008

Me Cagen todos. (via ).
posted by adamvasco at 3:40 AM on December 10, 2008

My family (well my mother's side) are Catalan and this is one of the most wonderful and bizarre traditions in Catalunya.
posted by ob at 2:14 PM on December 10, 2008

Puerto Rico had a huge influx of catalanes via Las Canarias in the middle of the 19th century.

This is very true, and the connections run deep. The cellist Pau Casals' (a symbol of Catalanisme) mother was born in Puerto Rico. He was married to a Puerto Riceña and he lived out his final years there.

There are also Catalan connections to Cuba too, indeed a rum that some folks might have heard of (Barcardi) was founded by a Catalan.
posted by ob at 2:28 PM on December 10, 2008

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