Sweden’s ill-fated Christmas goat survives again

Sweden's Christmas straw goat has survived this festive season for the second year running, bucking an unofficial (and indeed illegal) tradition of arsonists burning it down most years.

Sweden's ill-fated Christmas goat survives again
The famous Gävle Christmas goat. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT

The town of Gävle has built the giant straw goat every Christmas since 1966. More often than not it meets an untimely demise when it is burned down, stolen or vandalized.

To give you a few examples, in its 50th anniversary it got torched only hours after the official opening when one of the security guards went on a toilet break. Some of the more outrageous attempts to destroy it has included a helicopter plot and a gingerbread man wielding a bow and burning arrow.

READ ALSO: The five weirdest attacks on Gävle's yule goat

The goat burned down in 2016. Photo: Pernilla Wahlman/TT

But this season the 13-metre straw beast – surrounded by two fences – made it through both Christmas and New Year's Eve, much to the delight of organizers.

“There haven't been any real attempts at attacking it this year, but we did have two inebriated people who tried to get to the goat without intending to harm it. But the guards were there and handled the situation,” the goat's spokesperson Maria Wallberg told Swedish public radio.

The goat has now been dismantled and its frame will be used to build the 2019 incarnation. The straw? It will get burned at the local heating plant in Gävle. Looks like there's no escaping the flames after all.

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