- Issue date: 08/11/2017
- Printing Process: Offset + papel madera
- Paper: Autoadhesivo
- Size of stamp: 35 x 24.5 mm
- Sheet effects: 50
- Postal value of the stamps: 0.50 €
- Print run: 70.000
CHRISTMAS. Tió de Nadal
If there is one thing forever present in our childhood memories, it’s the celebration of Christmas along with the fantastic and endearing being known as the Tió de Nadal. This magical character inhabits homes during the Christmas holidays, half hidden away in living room or kitchen corners, and suddenly appears to the surprise and joy of the children, who take care of him by feeding him with fruit and vegetables, and wrapping him up in a blanket so that he doesn’t get cold. On Christmas Day, the whole family gathers around him and he thanks them for caring for him by "pooping" sweets and toys when he is beaten with a stick, while the family sings “Tió, tió caga tió…”.
This tradition can be traced back to rural communities and pagan rituals in which the rebirth of nature was celebrated at the winter solstice. In this tradition, nature is symbolised by a tree trunk that was collected during the weeks running up to the solstice, and later ritually burnt on the household fire. In this way, the piece of wood offers the families its heat and light in the form of a gift. In some cases, the ashes of the log were used as an amulet to protect fields and crops.
Over the years, this ancestral tradition has been adapted to the unique character of each region and period, with many variants in rituals, customs and songs. These days the tradition is clearly centred on children, so the log has been transformed into a type of magical animal, characterised by his simple smiling face, wearing a barretina hat, and covered with a blanket, which “poops out” gifts for children on Christmas Eve.
In recent years, the “cagatió” tradition has spread from homes and is now celebrated in schools, associations and even in towns as a local holiday.
It is a deeply rooted tradition in Andorra and Catalonia and is also celebrated in other regions such as Occitania and in some areas of Aragon. There are a multitude of names for Tió de Nadal, including Tronc de Nadal, Soca, Xoca, Cachafuòc, Tizón, Toza, Tronca, and many more.
Just like Tió de Nadal, this stamp has a surprise: it has been printed on wood paper.