What spending Christmas Day at Hostal Mare Nostrum is like? PART I

We know that Christmas festivities are usually spent at home, surrounded by all the family, but we also know some people take the opportunity to travel, and many of our guests have chosen our hotel to spend these days in Barcelona. From Hostal Mare Nostrum, we wanted that this Christmas they felt like home and we have asked Santa to remember all of them and stop by, here at Hostal Mare Nostrum. He seems to have brought many presents, and do not think it is simply a smiling trunk, now we will explain its meaning, which is very important and unique of the Catalan culture: The Christmas “Tio” is a mythological character relating to a Christmas tradition widespread in Catalonia. Sympathetic and cheerful, usually reaches homes a few days before Christmas to be installed in the living room. It is a wooden trunk which is decorated with two front legs and a smiley face. His outfit is basically the barretina (traditional Catalan cap) and the blanket covering him so he would not get cold. The point is to "feed" the trunk so when Christmas Day arrives he can give presents. Children must take care of his diet and the food disappears "mysteriously" when children are not present, because Tió has eaten it. The more and better children take care of him, he will be more generous on Christmas Day. Just before Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, according to family tradition, children get close to Tió and hit him with a stick while singing a song that goes like this: Caga tió - Caga tió - shit log ametlles i torró - almendras y turrón - almonds and nougats no caguis arangades - no cagues arengues - not herrings que són salades - que son saladas - wich are too salty caga torrons - caga turrones - shit nougats que són més bons. - que son más Buenos - wich are much better Caga tió - Caga tió - shit log ametlles i torró - almendras y turrón - almonds and nougats si no vols cagar - si no quieres cagar -if you don’t wanna shit et donaré un cop de bastó - te daré un golpe de bastón - I’ll hit you with a stick Caga tió! - Caga tió - shit log Then, just by lifting the Tió blanket, gifts appear. Tió tradition is related to the Christmas tree which also carries gifts for the little ones. One way or another, the Tió has one goal: to provide presents to children. Gifts that have changed over time: first were basically sweets and candies that were needed for the feast, today there is a tendency to use Tió to give more substantial presents. From Hostal Mare Nostrum, we want to wish a Merry Christmas and... HAPPY NEW YEAR 2014!

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