I came back home last night tired, sleepy and with a sore knee.
Eric, on the other hand, was happy and excited to see me and to surprize me.
As we live a bi-cultural life, we have come to learn to incorporate traditions from Bulgaria and Spain when it comes to celebrating holidays and festivals, and we have, thus, come up with a wonderful and wacky mix.
So, what was my surprise to the next weirdly wondrous tradition which has me giggling today???
Eric brought home a CAGATIO (excuse my lack of accents on the Bulgarian keyboard – something “bi-culturals” get used relatively fast 🙂
So, a cagatio is a creature which comes up in the house around Christmas, partially for decoration and partially as a replacement of Santa Claus, Papa Noel, Saint Nicolas, Dyado Mraz, Dyado Koleda, and the other 500 names which are associated to the cheery old man.
The tradition calls for the Cagatio to be put next to the fire place and fed diligently throughout the month of December. Children will leave it fruits, veggies and candy in the evening, which magically disappear by the morning, since the Cagatio eats at night.
After a few weeks of food, children expect that the Cagatio will “poop” presents for the whole family. In order to “motivate” him, they hit him with a log while singing the traditional Catalan song:
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
Or in English:
hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
if you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
After being hit repeatedly, the Cagatio “poops” candies, nuts, torrons and dried figs, all presents which can be shared by the family.As Catalans, celebrate Three Kings (on the 5-6th January) much more then they focus on Christmas in terms of presents, Cagatio does not bring the “BIG STUFF”, yet it gathers the family together during the holy celebrations.
Oh dear. It is to laugh!
Just a friendly reminder that holiday joy is spreading!
Here is my Cagatio 🙂 Im feeding him kiwis and apples. Lets see what will that “produce”.