3 Fun (And Extremely Weird) Catalan Traditions
1. Caga Tio
I must start with this, as it is the most unusual thing I’ve ever heard of. In fact, when my prior boss told me about it when I first came to BCN I was sure she was joking. Turns out it is very true and an extremely interesting tradition:
Basically Caga Tio literally translating means something like ‘’Poop Dude’’ or ‘’Poop Man’’.
Starting to sound odd already?
It is a tree log, which can vary from palm-size to bicycle-size. They draw a face on it, put a little red hat and cover it with a blanket so it doesn’t get cold in winter.
Kids should ”feed him” with orange zests every day for it to get fat for Christmas day (see where I am going with this?).
When the 24th of Dec. arrives, kids sing a song and hit him with a stick for it to ‘’poop out’’ the present. Yes, it is true. Google it (just as I did two years ago).
You can buy tiny Caga Tios as souvernirs during Christmas time. I gave all my friends one.
Can you spot my tiny Caga Tio within my Christmas decoration?
What is it with Catalans and poop?
The original Caganer is a guy with black pants, white shirt, and red hat, kneeling down and yes, pooping. Throughout the years, it has grown and become something of a collectors thing (call it the Funko Pop of Barcelona).
They have Caganers of every type, from the Queen of England to Neymar Jr…. And yes, all pooping.
3. Sant Jordi
Catalan version of Valentine’s day and to me the most special of it all.
During the day children sell roses and people sell books on stalls spread out everywhere in the city.
The tradition is for a girl to receive a flower from the boy, and the boy to get a book from the girl (I gave Cris ‘’The Alchemist’’ from Paulo Coelho and he loved it) – Tip: This book is an excellent read for travelers.
Sant Jordi takes place every April 23rd.