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Just for the sake of clarification, “Tió” , means a big log, and “cagar”is a verb that means to shit.
The name of the thing is “Tió” as it is a big log. “Caga tió” is what you sing, using the verb “cagar” in an imperative form “caga”, and “Tió” to refear to whoyou are demanding to shit.

So, to summarize, the name is Tió, not Cagatió.
Cagatió, can be used as the festivity of making the Tió shit. (Well you can useit wherever and whenever you want, because in theory we are free people, but normatively speaking that’s the usage).

Like lots of things this days, it has some Cristian influence that adapted it, to annihilate the pagan traditions, and has evolved to a capitalism consumist thing, but traditionally it would be a log that you had in front of your fireplace, that the kids could take care of, and it would give sweets or small toys, and then families would burn it in the fireplace, and as it is a big log, it would be burning for days (of at least lots of hours), and later use the ashes to protect the houses from different things (usually assuperstitious things).

It is a tradition that has centuries of history (it is a pre-cristiantradition), and it is supposed to be a reverence of the nature, and through giving food and drinking to the old big log (that we usually had in front of the fireplace, and covered with blankets to have it comfortable), it was supposed to be an offer to the ancestors that would take the spirit of the aliments through it (and then give sweets or small toys in exchange). The hitting it and burning it later, would represent the awakening of the natural spring spirit from the old log that represents the winter (it would be done during the winter solstice).

Later, people putted a smiley face and a hat and humanized it, and started making real presents and things that converted the tradition in something a little bit weird if you don’t know it or you think about it.


As a disclaimer: That’s mostly my knowledge about it after some investigation over the years, and specially oral transmitted information from the elders of my small village and specially my family.


Hope that helped understanding a little bit more the festivity, and the origins.

If you have some feedback or interesting comments, forward them to me at and I may recieve it (it is a public mail so everyone can see what is sent there). I cannot promise either that I will be continuously checking the mail : p