Five traditions you didn’t know about Christmas in Catalonia

  • Christmas Catalonia

Christmas in Catalonia is different!

Many Catalan traditions seem very weird to foreigners, but all of them have an interesting origin. Find out about them!

Christmas-in-Catalonia-Caga-Tio

The Caga Tió, a true must in the Catalan Christmas

You must be wondering: what’s the Caga Tió? Pronounced “Cacka-tee- oh”, it means “Poo Log”. Yes, we know, very scatological… But Christmas in Catalonia wouldn’t be the same without this tradition.

This small wooden log with a smiley face wears a Barretina, the traditional red Catalan hat and it’s covered with a blanket to keep it warm. Children feed the Caga Tió with turrón (a Spanish Christmas sweet) every night until Christmas Eve. That evening they softly beat the Caga Tió with a stick while they sing:

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

Shit, log, shit nougats, hazelnuts and mató cheese, if you don’t shit well, I’ll hit you with a stick, shit, log!

Then, they reach under the Caga Tió’s blanket to find gifts and treats.


Christmas-in-Catalonia-Caganer

The Caganer, a very unique Catalan character.

And here comes the second pooping character of Christmas in Catalonia: the Caganer, which means “The Pooping Man”. It’s been around for the last two centuries and it’s an essential figurine in every Nativity Scene in Catalonia. This figurine is typically hidden somewhere among the
traditional characters of the Manger Scene, and children have fun playing a game which consists in trying to find it!

The Caganer is a sign of good luck, as its poop represents the fertilization of the lands for providing a good harvest for the year to come. Around Christmas time, trendy politicians, celebrities, soccer players… are turned into Caganer figurines.

Check them out here , LMAO!


Christmas-in-Catalonia-Nativity-scene

The Nativity Scene

Spain has a large Catholic tradition, that’s why it isn’t a surprise that almost every family has a Nativity Scene in the living room. It represents the commemoration of the birth of Christ and the Three Wise Men bringing presents to the newborn.


Christmas-in-Catalonia-Turron

Turrón: The most traditional Spanish Christmas Sweet

The turrón has existed for a long time – at least 500 years. The Moors invented it in Jijona, a little town in Alicante. Most of Spain was invaded in the early Middle Ages until the 15th  century. Nowadays there are many kinds of turrón, but the original ones were only two: a soft, very smooth
one that has a texture like frozen peanut butter, and a harder one that looks like a thick almond nougat, similar to a peanut brittle. Both are delicious! The main ingredients are: honey, almonds, eggs, sugar and cinnamon.

More than 15 million tons of turrón are produced yearly in Spain… Christmas in Catalonia wouldn’t be the same without this candy!


Christmas-in-Catalonia-Cannelonni

Sant Esteve Holiday (Stephen’s Day)

Sant Esteve takes place on December 26th , it’s an official holiday and a very important one during Christmas in Catalonia, since it’s one of the most important days to be with the family. There is a Catalan song that says:

“Per Nadal, cada ovella al seu corral; per Sant Esteve, cada ovella a casa seva”

(For Christmas, each sheep to its yard; for Saint Esteban, each sheep to its house).

This day is traditionally spent with family over a great meal in which the main course is cannelloni, usually stuffed with a kind of meat.


Christmas in Catalonia is very special, so we hope to see you soon here!

PS: we promise you will embrace the Catalan “pooping” traditions 😉

2019-11-27T14:43:52+01:00Traditions|

Leave A Comment