Catalonia has its own unique traditions over the Christmas period and perhaps one of the most unusual one is the Tió de Nadal (roughly “Christmas Log”), and popularly called “Caga tió” (The pooping log in English).
The Tió de Nadal, found in the living rooms of many Catalan homes during the holiday season, is a small to medium size log standing up on two or four little stick legs, and with a broad smiling face drawn on one end. It wears a red peasant hat called “barretina” and it is covered with a little blanket so it doesn’t get cold at night.The Tió comes from the forest on the day of the Immaculate Conception (December 8), and from that day onwards one gives the Tió a little bit to “eat” every night.
On Christmas day or, depending on the particular household, on Christmas Eve, children hit the Tió with a stick while singing a song that orders it to loosen its bowels and let drop the presents!
The Tió does not drop large objects, as those are brought by the Three Wise Men (on the 6th of January), instead, it leaves small presents for the children, as well as candies, nuts, nougats, wine and other goodies that are shared by everyone.