Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa Claus and Catalunya

Traditionally Spain has celebrated present giving during the Three Wise Men on January 5th. The obvious flaw is in the holiday scheme, where you don’t get the presents until the very end. Whether this was done to torture kids or parents is unclear.

Many desperate parents have adopted Santa Claus, who is capable of bringing presents as early as the evening of 24th. Traditionalist Catalan friends of ours regard Santa Claus as cultural imperialism and have instead resorted to a building giant Tio (read more about Tios and Catalan Christmas traditions here), which is capable of “producing” extremely very large presents. Hopefully this year’s bicycle and Lego boxes won’t produce a fatal bowel obstruction.

Although kids at school are very excite about the presents, I have to say that this little song 2nd grader came home with today was quite a treat:

Cumpleaños fatal
que lo pases muy mal
que te atropelle un tran via
y feliz funeral

Los regalos pa mi
los papeles pa ti
yo te invito al cine
i tu pagas por mi

(I know it’s happy birthday, not merry christmas, but the kids didn’t seem to care)


Ashleigh said...

Holy crap! Call me an imperialist, but i'll take my present from a jolly old granpa type over a pooping log anyday...WOW! I had no idea...I followed your link to to the Orange Polka dot post with the video...again...I had no idea...

Todd said...

Yes!!! When I arrived in Spain a decade ago, the 'caga tio' and the 'caganer' were two completely unbelievable Christmas traditions. But when you come to understand the dry sarcasm of the Catalan people, you come around to appreciating these traditions. At least I did. (that's my photo of a caga tio on the wikipedia page :P