Thursday, January 5, 2017

Christmas 2016: Christmas Around The World

Every year, Gammy Becky creates "Christmas Around The World" booklets and treats for my kiddos featuring the countries she has visited that year. She researches their specific Christmas traditions and teaches the boys about it. She also gives them a box full of treats and gifts, who wouldn't love that?!

This year was Portugal and Spain. And is Griffin's favorite so far... you will see why in just a moment! Haha

This would be because there were a few traditions that focused on, or had something to do with, poo. Yep, every young boys favorite topic to laugh at! Haha.

First- the Caganer:

"The Caganer is an interesting figure in Catalonian Christmas celebrations. His name translates to something like “The Crapper” and he is usually found tucked away in the corner of the manger scene taking care of business. Traditionally, the Caganer is depicted as wearing a traditional Catalonian red cap and white peasant shirt, although figures modeled to look like celebrities, politicians, and even the Pope are also popular."

Kids growing up in Catalonia, on the other hand, have not one but two different poop-themed traditions to look forward to every Christmas: the Caganer and the Tió de Nadal.

The Tio de Nadal:
"In Catalan, Tió de Nadal is roughly translated to Christmas Log and is a widespread tradition in many parts of Spain. According to Catalan mythology, the Christmas Log brings small presents on Christmas (big presents come from the Three Wise Men) in the same way presents are placed under Christmas trees in United States. Originally, the Tió de Nadal was just a piece of dead wood, but now the log is often given a face with an attached nose and two little legs, along with a little red hat similar to a barretina.

If it stopped right there, it wouldn’t be that strange. Just another present-delivering vehicle adopted by a different culture. But it doesn’t stop there, that’s only the beginning. It all starts on the Day of the Immaculate Conception, December 8. Tradition states that households begin to “feed” the log every night starting then. The log is also usually given a small blanket during this time to keep it warm during the chilly weeks before Christmas.

After weeks of feeding, it is finally Christmas Eve and the log is placed in the fireplace, little face and beret staring up from the ground. Members of the house then take turns bashing the little log person with a stick and commanding it to defecate out presents, candies and wafers and not to defecate stinky herring.

The bashing continues while traditional songs about the log are sung. Christmas is then celebrated to the delight of everyone in the house as they reach below the tió’s blanket to pull out their “gifts” of defecated candy and presents."

Wow... Griffin thought these were the funniest traditions ever and sent Gammy this video:

YouTube Video

Oh my... safe to say they enjoyed their Christmas Around the World this year :-)

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