I love learning traditions in different countries when we travel! And the most memorable so far is the strange, fun and funny Catalan Christmas tradition of having El Caganer (“The Pooper”) & Caga Tio (A pooping log) introduced to us by TD’s Catalan cousins when we visited them 6 years ago in Barcelona. This tradition is also done by neighboring areas and countries.
Ever since, these two funny characters have been a part of our Belen or Nativity scene! When I gave birth to DiploBaby 5 years ago in Berlin, we also got an Ostheimer Nativity scene so that it would be functional art/toy. It was worth every Euro!
Every year DiploBaby gets a portion of our shelves and he excitedly sets up the Belen. The El Caganer and Caga Tio has always been there for him. We teach him that it’s part of his family’s tradition. DiploBaby is partly Spanish after all and has Catalan Cousins.
Our belen is not just beautiful but full of memories. Memories of that wonderful trip to Barcelona and memories of tactile play.
Best of all it makes us laugh every time we look at it and see the Caganer! DiploBaby is always interested to tell people about him! The poop is quite realistic!
Caga Tio on the other hand is another pooping character. He is a log that Catalan children beat with sticks so he poops gifts on Christmas eve or day. It’s a bit violent to the poor log.
But before Christmas the children must take care of him, keep him fed and warm so he poops gifts on Christmas day.
On Christmas Day the children go away to the kitchen supposedly to get their sticks ready (while the adults sneakily tuck their presents under the blanket) and then they come and beat the poor log so it poops out presents!
Children sing this song while beating the poor log:
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
shit nougats (turrón),
hazelnuts and mató cheese,
if you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
Usually these are small treats like candies nuts, torron or small toys that is shared by everyone. The bigger gifts come from the three Wise Men, because they do not have the tradition of Santa.
BARCELONA CHRISTMAS MARKETS
I wish I took more pictures when we went. I think my senses were just overwhelmed with everything that was new to me. If you go to a Christmas Market in Barcelona, for sure you will find stalls of Caga Tio and El Caganer in different famous personas!
Here are some photos borrowed from other blogs!
WHERE TO BUY OSTHEIMER:
AMAZON.DE: HOLY FAMILY • HOUSE • ANIMALS • SET
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