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You Won’t Believe These Crazy Christmas Traditions

Christmas Pickle (Queen of Subtle@Flickr)

You might have some annual Christmas traditions in your house. Maybe it’s the way you hand out gifts or the foods you eat or when you eat. Many Americans continue traditions passed down to them from their European ancestors. One you’re probably familiar with is the Christmas pickle. It was a mainly German tradition of hiding a glass pickle ornament on the tree and the first kid to find it would get an extra gift and good luck for the coming year.

The crazy Spanish have a couple of traditions that almost sound like a joke.

Caga Tio (valkyrieh116@Flickr)

The first is the Caga Tio – the pooping log from the Catalonia region of Spain. It’s a hallowed out log propped up on a couple of branches with a face painted on it. Beginning on December 8th you have to feed the Caga Tio everyday and keep it warm until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day when the family gathers around and while it’s covered with a blanket, they beat it with sticks until it poops out treats – coins, candy, fruit and nuts. But don’t be too greedy. The Caga Tio could poop out a sardine, an onion or clove of garlic. When the Caga Tio is done pooping out his treats, the log is placed on the fire to provide warmth for the rest of Christmas Day.

Caganer (ibalaguero-visca-el-50mm@Flickr)

And if that’s not strange enough, the Catalonians have another odd tradition – the Caganer. It’s also been adopted by regions of France, Portugal and Italy. It’s a Christmas statue included in the Nativity scene each year and kids get a kick out of finding him. You won’t find him anywhere near the baby Jesus or the Virgin Mary. That’s because the Caganer has his pants pulled down and needs a little privacy. You won’t believe what the Caganer is doing. But in a Nativity scene?

Those crazy Europeans. In this country we can’t even have a Nativity scene in a public place. Can you imagine what the reaction would be if it included the Caganer doing what he’s doing?


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