STOCKHOLM – The annual Christmas straw goat structure in a Swedish city has been burned down again!
A giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas goat of straw is built every December 1 in the center of Gavle, Sweden. The goat is 42 feet tall, 22 feet long, and ways over 3 tons!
The tradition was started in 1966, when Stig Gavlen, an advertising consultant, came up with the idea. The fire department built the first one, however the construction has since been taken over by the Southern Merchants association. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, it was set aflame!
Since then, troublemakers have set the goat on fire more years than not. Of the 43 years it has been constructed, it has been set ablaze 24 times!
The city has tried a number of protection tactics, including 24 hour webcames, live guards and coating the goat in fire repellant. Ironically, the burning has only increased global interest and tourism to the city.
This year, the goat was set on fire and burned to the frame in the early hours of December 23. The two webcams directed at it were taken down by hackers just before the burning.
Considering only four people in the history of the straw goat have ever been caught or convicted, it is unlikely the culprits will ever been found.