The «Tió de Nadal«, meaning in English «Christmas Log», also known simply as «Tió», is a Catalan Christmas tradition which is very well established among families. In the last years the original tradition has been changing.
In the past it was a hollow and burnt piece of cut wood or log taken from the fireplace that had been burning in the chimney contributing to heat the house. Starting with the Immaculate Conception on December 8, the children give the Tió some food every night and usually cover it with a little blanket so that it will not get cold at night. On Christmas Day, children beat it with sticks, while singing various songs of Tió de Nadal, hoping that it would give back sweets and cava.
At present the trunk has a broad smiling face painted, enhanced by a little red sock hat (a miniature of the traditional Catalan «Barretina») and is bought in a store. The gifts are not just simple sweets but many different presents that are often more expensive than the ones brought by the «Three Wise Men» in January 6.