Christmas 2017 – Tió de Nadal


Andorra Spain – If there is some memory that is indelible from the moment of childhood is the celebration of Christmas along with that fantastic and endearing being known as Tio de Nadal. Being a magician who inhabits homes during the Christmas holidays, half hidden in a corner of the living room or kitchen, which suddenly appears to surprise and rejoice the children, who will take care of and feed on fruits and vegetables, a blanket so that it does not pass cold, so that when Christmas arrives the whole family around the home and thank them for the care with sweets, candies and toys that are “expelled” with a cane beat and to the rhythm of a song, “Tió, tió paga tió …”.

This tradition has its roots in the rural communities and pagan rituals in which the rebirth of nature was venerated in the winter solstice, symbolized nature in a tree trunk that was collected in the weeks before the solstice, next to a ritual, to set fire to him in the hearth of the house, with which piece of wood offered the family as a gift its warmth and its light. In some cases, their ashes were used as protective amulet of fields and crops.

Over the years, this ancestral tradition has been adapted to the particularities of each region and each sociohistorical moment, adopting multiple variants in rituals, customs and songs, although, at the moment, it is a tradition oriented clearly to the childhood, reason why that the trunk has been transformed into a kind of fantastic animal, characterized by a simple smiling face, touched by a sweeping and covered with a blanket, that the day before or on Christmas day “shits” gifts to children.

In recent years, the tradition of “cagatió” has transcended the domestic sphere to be held collectively in schools, associations and even in towns as a local holiday.

It is a deeply rooted tradition in Andorra and Catalonia, also encompassing other regions such as Occitania and also some areas of Aragon, the Tio of Nadal receiving names as diverse as Tronc de Nadal, Soca, Xoca, Cachafuòc, Tizón, Toza or Tronca, among many others.

Like the Tio of Nadal, the present seal houses a surprise inside: its impression has been made on wood paper.

  • 16.11.2017
  • Offset
  • 35 x 24.5 mm
  • 0.50 €