Gavle, Sweden got their goat, as they have for over four decades. Then, on Saturday, someone got the goat, so to speak. Yes, once again, Gavle’s giant straw goat was flambéed.
A giant straw goat erected each Christmas in eastern Sweden was set on fire on Saturday in a violent tradition of vandalism during the festive season that has spanned four decades.
Each year the people of Gavle build a 43-foot-tall straw goat, a traditional Scandinavian symbol of Christmas. But since the yuletide tradition began in the central Swedish city of Gavle in 1966, it has also drawn vandals, who have torched the animal 23 times since it was first set up to mark the holiday season. While the 2007 goat made it through the Christmas period intact, in other years it has been smashed, run over by a car and had its legs cut off.
The vandals have not yet managed to top the 2005 goat torching, though. That’s when Santa Claus and the Gingerbread man set the goat on fire with flaming arrows. No, really. I don’t know why the city fathers didn’t use the massive doses of fire retardant this year as they did in 2006 when I first posted about the goat toasties.