This French tradition of serving a frangipane filled tart known as the ‘galette des rois’ (or the ‘gateau des rois’ in the South of France) on, or around the 6th January, (the first Sunday of each New Year) actually dates back to the 14th century.

A popular and much loved Catalan Christmas figure, this small statue, originally of a pooping peasant wearing traditional floppy red Catalan cap (barretina), crouches with trousers half down, in a ‘toilet’ position, making his small contribution to the land. He might be smoking a pipe or reading a newspaper to better pass the time!

These pooey Catalan traditions may shed some light on the popular Catalan saying
“menja bé, caga fort i no tinguis por a la mort!” (Eat well, poo strong and don’t be afraid of death!)  

This French Christmas character, the ‘whipping father’, said to accompany Santa on his rounds on 6th December, is fortunately no longer heard of much in French tradition.

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