December 22, 2022

When will the goat burn?

I’m feeling a bit cold today and thinking of ways to warm up, so of course my thoughts are turning toward the giant straw Christmas goat that sits in the city of Gävle.

As I’ve written on this blog before, in the city of Gävle, about 2 hours north of Stockholm, a giant straw goat has been built in the town square to celebrate Christmas since 1966. Since then, people have tried to burn or destroy it every year. At this point, we all secretly want it to burn just to add another burning to the list, but security the past few years around the goat is probably higher than it is for anything else in Sweden.

image shows the Swedish Christmas goat not on fire, and then on fire
Photo from the Sydney Morning Herald mistakenly (or not) referring to the burning of the goat as a Swedish Christmas tradition.

Some foreign news outlets have dubbed the Gävleboken (Gävle Christmas Goat), Sweden’s Arson Goat. This is a name of which I very much approve, mostly for tourist and meme reasons.

So, in thinking of ways to get warm today, my mind turned toward the Gävle goat and I wondered if anyone had burned it down yet. Turns out, it’s still standing. But for anyone else who might want to keep an eye out, there is a live camera set up so you can check for yourself.

(For legal reasons, I should probably mention that it is illegal to burn the goat. But feel free to buy a small souvenir goat made out of straw and burn it in the privacy of your own grill.)

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