Monday, December 3

The Gävle Christmas Goat

Christmas goatIt looks like they're getting the Gävle Goat -- the world's largest Christmas goat, located in Gävle, Sweden -- ready for the holiday. I'm not going to speculate on what kinds of adjustments the workers are attempting in the picture that I pulled off the webcam. Perhaps they're installing a fire sprinkler system. This poor goat has been burned down by Swedish pyro-hooligans over 20 times. But they've started making him out of a straw treated with fire retardant chemicals and last year he survived the whole season.

Gävle Goat has his own website -- including webcam and blog.

The Yule Goat is a very old Scandinavian Christmas tradition that has throughout history been associated with various kinds of pranks. There is some speculation that the origins of the goat are pre-Christian, going back to the days when the god Thor would fly through the sky in a wagon pulled by two goats -- one named Rudolph the Red Nosed Goat (just kidding -- at least about Rudolph). These days the straw goats are primarily Christmas decorations -- except when a prankster manages to light one on fire -- at which point they become Yul torches.

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