Monday, December 04, 2006

Truth Is Stranger #28: Swedes Desperately Try to Preserve the Christmas Goat


I think the 23 1/2 hours of darkness are getting to the Swedes.

Swedes attempt to protect huge straw Christmas goat from getting burned by vandals for the past 22 years.


The company providing the fireproof treatment is so sure of its resilience that its spokesman Freddy Klassmo told newspaper Aftonbladet that "not even napalm can set fire to the goat now." (...Readying napalm, quietude, waiting for the Prince of Peace...just seems to flow together, doesn't it.)


For those who want to follow its fate, a 24-hour Web cam has been set up to film the straw goat where it stands on the central square in Gavle, 90 miles north of Stockholm. (Thank goodness, I was having problems sleeping last night over this.) However, the security guards that have watched over previous versions have been called off, Ostman said.

"We can sleep very soundly at night now," she said. "The goat can too." (Uh, dude, it's a straw goat.)

...The 2005 vandals — who witnesses said were dressed up as Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man — remain at large. The pair fired flaming arrows at the goat, reducing it to its steel skeleton. (Well! Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace to you too!)


--I.C.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

man i was hoping for some goat bbq

RobK said...

Now I would like to know the story of the Christmas goat. Is this a Swedish Rudolph? Perhaps there was a legend of a goat at the manger? Regardless, I am glad the goat is flame retardant now. :D

Melody said...

And somehow this came to mind:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations 15 will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left." (Matt 25: 31-3)

RobK said...

Thanks Melody!
Now it becomes apparent why the goat must be fire retardant.

CMinor said...

Straw goats seem to be a common Swedish Christmas decoration--I looked it up and they have to do with the goats that pulled Thor's cart. Traditionally, the goat brought presents to the kiddos(!) Setting this particular goat ablaze seems to be an ongoing tradition. Dunno if that's got pagan roots too, but I've heard setting something or another ablaze used to be a common solstice practice among North Europeans. When night falls at 3 pm, one can hardly blame them.

The Ironic Catholic said...

The goat does have pagan roots.

Have you all been to IKEA? Christmas trees covered with straw goats everywhere. It's quite...well, inspiring is not the word....

Symeon said...

The burning of the "Gävle-goat" is, kind of, a fight between people with a sense of humor and the state that lacks it. They did actually manage to burn down the smaller goat, for which every Swede with said sense are happy.

- a Swedish catholic that likes to see straw goats burn...