A Christmas Present

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:

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

Or in English:

“poop log,
poop turrón,
hazelnuts and cottage cheese,
if you don’t poop well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
poop log!”

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”.


About Maria Bakardjieva

I am a licensed Social Media Strategist and Networking Coach who helps business and people position, grow and develop. I work at Explicata - an online marketing experts company. You can find us at www.explicata.com
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3 Responses to A Christmas Present

  1. Tere says:

    A mi sempre m’ha agradat molt el tio, perquè sempre l’he associat al nadal, la llar de foc encesa, i estar tota la familia junta. A casa meva l’hem fet sempre, encara que no hi hagués cap nen petit. Suposo que perquè és un moment molt divertit i ens ho passem bé (quins riures!! jeje). Ara suposo que amb les meves nebodes tindrem una excusa.. jeje

    Jo tinc una altra canço de caga tió per tu:

    Caga tió
    avellanes i torrons
    no caguis arengades que són salades
    caga torrons, que són més bons!

    No és gaire diferent a la que has escrit tu, pero bueno, com tota tradició, sempre existeixen petites variacions. Ah! per cert! tb dir que cap a la vall d’Aran se’l coneix com la Tronca de nadal!

    un peto

  2. Alfredo says:

    The tradition around the piece of wood in winter celebrations come from very ancient people in europe like vinkings or celts. In Spain, its been also a tradition in Vasc Country and in Aragon Region. The modern version of the Tió with the “barretina” has maybe only 15 or 20 years; When I was a child, this tradition was made only at the little villages, and we used a natural piece of wood. The national movement in Catalonia is trying since 30 years ago to create their own symbols and exclusive traditions for Catalonia, to make a difference with “spanish” traditions. But, actually, the Tió only gave little presents as sweets or “turrons”, because people in Catalonia expected the great presents for the Kings Day, a tradition celebrated in Spain and Catalonia since the Vth century.

  3. mbakardjieva says:

    I know that the 3 Kings are the bigger deal 🙂 So I am looking forward to that celebration, too. Yet, I am keeping my blog post on the topic for once the time comes 🙂
    Thank you for the valuable additional information.
    I have another good idea today.
    Lets see 🙂

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