in Countdown to Christmas 2016

We’ve already explored the Caganer and today we’re going to look at another poop-tastic Catalan Christmas tradition: the caga tió.

The QI video clip I posted last week already referenced the the “poop log”, but American comedian and actress Kate McKinnon does a much better job of explaining the caga tió tradition than Stephen did (or I could):

Today’s Countdown to Christmas entry, then, is a celebration of the caga tió by Ambäukatunàbia, an entertainment group formed in April 2008 by a collection of youth workers, and which also takes in some traditional verses used by Catalan children when beating the poop log with their sticks. The lyrics roughly translate* as follows:

You already have me here, like every year just before Christmas,
I keep you company during these very special days.
The wind is frozen on the mountain where I come from,
a barretina [traditional Catalan hat] and a blanket would be great for me.

Poop log!
Hazelnuts and nougats!
If you don’t want to poop,
I will beat you with a stick!

Poop log!
Hazelnuts and nougats!
If you don’t want to poop,
I will beat you with a stick!

During these days in which you welcome me into your home
fill me with fruit, biscuits or a crust of bread.
The day I feel very tired and at bursting point
you take the stick and prepare yourselves to sing!

Poop log!
Hazelnuts and nougats!
If you don’t want to poop,
I will beat you with a stick!

Poop log!
Hazelnuts and nougats!
If you don’t want to poop,
I will beat you with a stick!

I am very tired… uuuuf…
at breaking point.
Pay attention!
What will come out?

Poop log, hazelnuts and nougats,
don’t poop herrings which are too salty.
Poop nougats which are better!

Poop log, hazelnuts and nougats,
if you don’t want to poop I will beat you with a stick,
If you don’t want to poop I will beat you with a stick.

Poop log!
Hazelnuts and nougats!
If you don’t want to poop,
I will beat you with a stick!

Poop log!
Hazelnuts and nougats!
If you don’t want to poop,
I will beat you with a stick!

Next year I will be celebrating Christmas with my (by then) Catalan wife, and I am thoroughly enjoying learning not just the Catalan language, but also the history and culture of the region. I hope you’ll enjoy the little nuggets spread through this year’s Countdown to Christmas, too!

* Roughly translated by me, so apologies for any errors!

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