This year, we spent Christmas with Todd and Anna, our friends who live in Hawaii Kai.
Anna is from Spain. Her parents live in Spain and are here for the holidays. There were quite a few of their Spanish friends at the party as well. It was fun and festive, with the different dialects conversing throughout their marine-front home. And I must say, I was impressed with the toddlers, as they, too, were bilingual.Visitors often bring traditions from their home to Hawaii, like this special Christmas celebration from Spain.
Looking at their beautiful Christmas tree, I noticed a little wooden log with a face, four wooden legs and a blanket draped over him. “What was that?” I asked.
Tio de Nadal is a Catalan character that’s also known as “Caga Tio,” or “Pooping Log.” Starting with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, Catalan families host a tio, which is a small hollow log propped up on two legs with a smiling face painted on one end. Each night the family gives the log a few morsels of food to “eat” and a blanket so it will “stay warm” throughout the evening.
On Christmas (or Christmas Eve), the family then orders the hollow log to “defecate” small gifts. Family members sing songs and hit the log with sticks in order to speed its “digestion,” and the log gradually drops gifts for everyone.A Spanish tradition in Hawaii. The Caga Tio “poops out” gifts on Christmas (or the Eve).
This was both unique and exciting and definitely a first for me. This experience showed me just how perse Hawaii may be; after all, we are the melting pot of the Pacific. It’s an example of how visitors that come to the islands bring their own unique traditions, which could possibly catch on in Hawaii and add more flavors to the mix.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher