CATALAN is an area of North Eastern Spain that ajoins to parts of France. They speak a Romance language which is different from the Spanish language spoken in the rest of Spain.
They are very proud of their traditions and Caga Tia is a pooping log. If you live in a city or are too busy at Christmas you can go into a store and buy a ready made log.
In the country Catalan families go into the woods and find a Christmas Log (Tio de Nadal) to bring into their home. The log is hollowed out and a face is painted and legs are added. On December 8th you start to “feed” or stuff the log with candy/sweets, fruits and nuts. Every day the children add more stuffing to the log. The final addition is usually a salt herring or a garlic bulb. On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day the log is encouraged to poop by children hitting the logs with sticks. Out comes the treats.
Depending where a person lives, whether it is in Germany or in countries that carry this tradition, the last ornament to be hung on the Christmas tree is a glass pickle. In most families the pickle is hidden and the first child to find the pickle on Christmas morning gets a special gift.
In the United States of America, the tradition seemed to be so popular that for the Christmas of 1880, F.W Woolworth, a chain wide department store, started to make ornaments not only in green pickles but in other vegetables and fruits.
There are ‘tall tales’ associated with the pickle. In the American Civil War, a Bavarian (German) hired soldier was a prisoner and near death from starvation he asked for a pickle. The guard took pity on him and the pickle gave him mental and physical strength to survive.
Another tale originates from Spain where an evil inn- keeper killed two boys and placed them in a barrel of pickles. St. Nicholas found the boys and miraculously restored them to life.
PEACE, JOY AND HOPE FOR 2014,