From the ashes: making traditional Christmas 'Tió' logs after a forest fire
Sant Fruitós de Bages residents create 13 present-pooping figures from charred tree trunks
One of Catalonia's Christmas traditions has been given a twist in the town of Sant Fruitós de Bages in Central Catalonia.
A nearby fire in July 2022 destroyed more than 1,200 hectares of forest. Now, the town has converted 13 burnt tree trunks into 'Tió de Nadal' figures, the Christmas logs that poop out toys after being whacked by eager kids.
"We want to give them a new life," the mayor, Joan Carles Batanés, explained to the Catalan News Agency (ACN).
The project involved various organizations in the town, such as Ampans, which works with people with intellectual diversity.
"We removed the bark, varnished them, painted their faces and now we hope that they'll be magical," said Margarita Rubit.
In total, 13 'Tions' will be placed in squares throughout the town.
The project has brought the town together, Batanés explained, involving the elderly and making something that families and children can enjoy.
The memory of the fire in Sant Fruitós de Bages is still very present. In fact, the mayor, who at the time was an opposition councilor, experienced it firsthand, as a resident of one of the areas affected.
"I witnessed the arrival of the fire, having to leave our homes, and the fear," he said.
"It made you realize that what we sometimes see on television can also happen to you."
And while "a burnt forest is a lost forest," at the same time they have been able to give "new life" to the trees that were engulfed by the flames.