Do you like Christmas decorations and Christmas shopping in general? This information is for you then!
Tomorrow morning is the opening of the famous “Mercado de Santa Lucía” (Santa Lucia Market) and will run until 23rd December. If you have not visited it yet, do it. It is really worth it! Not only for its very romantic Christmas atmosphere but also to go Christmas shopping and to learn more about the Christmas tradition in Catalunya.
This market, situated at the Plaza de la Catedral, offers a complete assortment of Christmas ornaments, decoration, christmas trees of different type of sizes (some real and fake ones), craftwork (clothes, jewels, lights etc.) and a wide range of figurines, some of them traditional and others mostly surprising!!!: One of them is called the “Caga Tío” and the other one the “Caganer”. You have never heard of them??? Then maybe you should read this before starting your Christmas Catalan Experience!!!
The “Caga Tío” (also called “Tío de nadal”… literally “Christmas guy”) is a mythical character in Christmas tradition in Catalunya and could be related to our Christmas Tree: The “Caga tío” is a small hollow log, standing on two stick legs with a big smile on his face, a nose and a “barretina”. Everybody who has children should have one in their house. Then, on the 8th of December, children start feeding this unusual pet, giving the “tio” something to eat every night and covering it with a blanket so that it does not catch cold. (Sweet, isn’t it!). On Christmas day (or on Christmas Eve depending on the family) one puts the tío close to the fireplace (if there is one!) and orders it to poop presents. (After so much food…) And how do you make a log poop? Beating him with a stick singing the song of the Tio de Nadal of course!
If you are interested in practising at home, here are the lyrics:
caga tió, (Pooping guy), caga torró, (Poop turrón)
avellanes i mató, (Hazelnuts and cheese)
si no cagues bé (if you don’t poop well)
et daré un cop de bastó (I’ll hit you with a stick)
caga tió!” (Pooping guy!)
Now our second character:
The “Caganer“: He is an absolute essential figure in the nativity scene in catalunya: It represents a typical catalan peasant (usually wearing a “barretina”, the traditional catalan hat) who appears in the nativity scene having a sophisticated poop. The funny thing is that it became so popular that local artesans compeate each year to create a new caganer design: A “caganer” Jose Luis Zapatero, a “caganer” bishop, etc, etc. My favourite is still the traditional one, the one on the photograph.
So, if you are looking for a present from your friends back home: Bring them of those 2 characters. They will be surely surprised!!!
For the lucky students studying in our school, a visit to the market is scheduled on Wednesday 19th December.
More news about our Christmas activities will come shortly!