Friday, December 15, 2006

They haven't got the Christmas goat yet

So far, the Christmas goat in Gävle has not burned down. For the past 40 years, the town has put up a giant straw Christmas goat. Traditionally vandals have burned the goat down.

The strange history of the Gävle Goat began in 1966. A man named Stig Gavlén came up with the idea of making a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas goat of straw. The aim was to attract customers to the the shops and restaurants in the southern part of the town centre.

On 1 December the 13-metre tall, 7-metre long, 3 tonne goat stood on the square. At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, the goat went up in smoke. The perpetrator was found and charged with vandalism.

Over the years, the goat has been burned down 22 times. But this year, the town officials impregnated the straw with fire retardent chemicals--the same used in airplanes. They are hoping that the chemicals won't wash out in rain and snow.
One attempt to burn the goat has been foiled. We'll have to see how long the goat can last this year.

1 comment:

boredoom said...

I was wondering how the goat was doing. Thanks for the update! I believe they've used the fire retardant before, to no avail. Even an American managed to burn the goat down one year.

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