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Museu de la Vida Rural

The Christmas tió

This diorama shows the Christmas tió nativity scene built by Sergi Massó from the Barcelona Miniature Scene Association

This diorama shows the Christmas tió nativity scene built by Sergi Massó from the Barcelona Miniature Scene Association

A tió can be defined as a thick tree trunk which children beat with sticks at Christmastime so that it “defecates” sweets and other presents.

Days earlier, the children bring it food in order to feed it. To make it defecate, children are usually sent to another room in the house, perhaps to moisten the stick. They then take turns beating the tió individually or together while singing a song or verse, multiple variations of which exist.

The act of getting the cagatió to defecate, usually on Christmas night, is a huge celebration enjoyed by children and adults alike.

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