The Tió. Why Catalan children knock a wooden trunk to make it shit?

ImageOne of the most important traditions in Catalonia is the Tió. In fact, it is not a legend, but I thing that everyone should know this tradition before coming to Catalonia.

The tradition consisted that parents picked a trunk from the forest at the beginnings of December and brought it to home. Nowadays, it is not a real trunk, and people buy Tions in markets, and they are decorated with some legs, mouth… Then, all the Tions arrive at every Catalan house, usually at 8th December. At home, it is covered with a blanket. Every day, the children of the house give some food to the Tió: fruit, chocolate, eggs… And, of course, some water every day.

The most important day is when The Tió has to shit. Yes, shit. The Tio shits every 24th December night, before all the family goes to Midnight Mass. To make it shit, children have to go in some different room to pray or to sing some carols. When they finish to sing a song or to pray some oration, children go back to the room where the Tió is and start to sing the traditional song while they knock the Tió with some stick. The traditional song to make the Tió shit is known by all children in Catalonia. This procedure has to be repeated until the Tió shit some toilet paper or an onion.

And, what does the Tió shit? Traditionally, it shit sweets, candies, and some simple toys to the children and nougats and cava to the parents. But now, in some families, the Tió shits really important presents, trying to give to children the presents as soon as possible, and not to wait until 6th January, the King’s Day. 

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