Sunday, November 30
Gävle Christmas Goat
The Swedish DNA in my body kicks into overdrive about this time every year and draws me back to the old country -- at least virtually. I've been making it a habit to check in on the giant "Gävle Goat" in the town center of Gävle (about 150 km north of Stockholm).
The goat drama started in 1966 as a gimmick to attract people to the shopping district during the holidays. They constructed a giant version of a traditional straw Christmas goat. However, "a vandal" torched the 42 ft high goat. Since then the goat has been burned down 21 more times over the years. It's become a bit of a cat and mouse game.
He survived last year. Of course, the Gävle Goat is loaded with flame retardant chemicals these days -- which only makes it more of a challenge for the local hooligans.
The goat has a blog this year. ~ link
You can watch him from one of the two webcams positioned to capture all the action. It looks like they're still working on getting him set-up for the 2008 fun. ~ webcam 1 | webcam 2
A little history of the Julbock (Christmas Goat) -- I understand that lots of other Swedish towns also have giant goats these days. ~ link