...the very next day, Krampus ate it. And then Caga Tió crapped out some presents.
After learning all about the lovely and talented Krampus (thanks again to guest blogger Nick), I thought I'd heard the weirdest of all Christmas traditions. That was until my esteemed collegue Amanda H&K brought "Caga Tió" to my attention. Yes, Spanish speakers, that does indeed mean "shit log."
I did a little research and this is quite possibly the awesomest thing I've heard since Fist/Damnocracy. In the Catalonia region of Spain, this holiday custom begins on December 8, which is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception day. A little hollowed-out log on stick legs and with a happy face drawn on it is revealed, and is subsequently "fed" a little bit of food each night. He's also covered with a blanket at night for warmth. Isn't that cute? I love it already. But wait until you hear this. On Christmas Day, Log is brought in front of the eager family and then ordered by all to shit. When Log does not comply immediately (because, well, it's a log), the family then beats the log with sticks while singing songs, such as this one:
Caga tió (Shit, log)
caga turró (shit torrons)
avellanes i mató (hazelnuts and cheese)
si no cagues bé (if you don't shit well)
et daré un cop de bastó (I'll give you a blow with a stick)
¡caga tió!" (Shit, log!)
One family member then reaches cermoniously into Log's hollow body and finds draws out a small present, which I am assuming is then held aloft as the rest of the mob cheers and froths at the mouth. The family then resumes beating Log and screaming abusive songs until a gift has been crapped out for everyone.
If you think that is the best ever, you haven't heard about the Caganer. What is the Caganer you ask? Oh, he's just the little figurine you'll find among Catalan nativities taking a dump the manger. No kidding. At this site you can order caganers in the visages of Sherlock Holmes, Salvador Dalí and even the Pope! Ay-yi-yi!
So what's the point of all this madness? Well, according to Wikipedia (which means it could be entirely made up) there are five:
1. Ye olde tradition.
2. Finding the Caganer in the large Catalan nativity scene (which represents the entire town of Bethlehem) is a fun game, especially for children.
3. The Caganer essentially is fertilizing the Earth, which always seems to be meaningful.
4. The Caganer represents the equality of all people by performing an act that we all do.
5. Poop is funny.
Ah, who cares about the point? It's hilarious! In fact, it's the best thing I've heard about this entire holiday season. Who wouldn't have Christmas cheer of volcanic proportions if they had this kickass custom to look forward to? But as we know all too well, something like this would never fly in the States, as such a blatant desecration of religious imagry is sure to enrage our esteemed politicos and their ilk. However, the more humored amoung us may just want to adopt these traditions for themselves. Not only will I be leaving a beer for Santa this year, per usual, but I also plan to get my hands on a Shit Log and a Caganer of my own to remind myself what Christmas is really all about: beating inanimate objects senseless until they poo out some awesome presents.
¡Feliz Navidad, Caca Cabezas!