The Tió Christmas log and Father Christmas
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One of the most deeply rooted traditions in Andorra is the Tió del Nadal. It's a rural tradition related to the winter solstice, fertility and nature. A log of wood, or “tió” in Catalan, symbolises all these elements. Every year around the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (8 December), families select a log which they then cover with a blanket in a corner of their home and the children feed it a little food every day. Then on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve, he “poos” out presents. The children sing a carol out of sight of the Tió log, and when the time is right, they’re called and they start to sing the traditional “Caga Tió...” song while they beat the log with a stick and then lift the blanket. When the coal appears, the ceremony is over.
This tradition is also held in some parishes which install a giant Tió log in the town square so everyone who wants to can enjoy it. This year you can take part in Ordino, Andorra la Vella and Sant Julià de Lòria.
Father Christmas has also earned his place among the Christmas traditions of Andorra. His arrival is one of the most anxiously awaited moments for young ones, as he brings sweets and the joy of gifts. Whether it be by sledge, horseback or even by snowmobile, Santa and his loyal helpers always make it to every parish in Andorra to visit the little ones.