The curious catalan christmas traditions
Catalan Christmas traditions are often very strange for people who are not local. And they have their reasons! They are rare, scatological but very funny and original, and can be appreciated all over the region, even in Barcelona.
It will not be Santa Claus who is the protagonist at Christmas, but the Caga Tio. This family tradition consists of collecting a log, days before the date of Christmas and put it in a corner covered with a blanket so it doesn’t get cold. For many days he is “fed” with offerings of fruits, vegetables or eggs and water. In Decemeber 25th, he “poops” gifts to the children of the family,while being beaten by them, to the rhythm of songs.
This is an ancient rural ritual, which is an allegory to nature, fertility and the winter solstice; the augury of nature’s rebirth after the winter season.
Living mangers are a characteristic activity at this time and usually run until mid-January. Dressed in period costumes and a beautiful atmosphere, these cribs form a liturgical route around the beautiful medieval Catalan villages. An ideal activity to do it in family.
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