The Gävle Goat: Endangered Species!
2009 12 25

From: AtlasObscura.com

If there is one thing you don't want to be in Sweden during Christmas, it's a Yule Goat!


The small Swedish town of Gavle harbors a history of repeated sustained vandalism, unexpected in the polite mild-mannered Nordic country.

Making of Yule Goats, straw goat figures are an ancient Christmas tradition in Nordic countries, dating back probably even to pre-Christian times and pagan celebrations of winter solstice. In 1966 an advertising consultant, Stig Gavlén, came up with the idea of making a giant version a Yule Goat and placing it in the town square. Ironically the "chief engineer" on this project was his brother Jesper Gavlén, also the towns fire department chief.

At the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, the goat went up in flames. Thus the tragic history of Gavel Goat began.

In following years the goat has been burned a total of 23 times, in a few instances in mere hours after being assembled, sometimes even before being actually being built. In addition to that, it has been smashed to pieces several times, and once even run over by a car.

Vandalizing of the Yule goat has become something of a dark tradition for the town. The organizers went through a long list of measures to try to protect the goat, or at least ensure its survival until Christmas. The list over the years includes protection by police, firemen, hired guards, bands of volunteers, webcams and fireproofing the material with chemicals. The price tag of goat construction went up ten fold in years between 1996 and 2005, reaching 100,000 Swedish kronor. The 2005 attack sparked the biggest wave of inanimate-goat violence in Sweden so far, with half a dozen copycat goat-burnings all over the Sweden.

Nowadays people can even place bets on goat's survival with certain Swedish and British bookkeepers.

Since 1986, two goats are built, one by a society of Southern Merchants and the other one by Natural Science Club of Vasa School. This split is a result of goats complicated history, though both goats suffer the same inevitable fate.

In 2009, the Southern Merchants version survived an arson attempt on December 7. It was finally stolen on December 14. Someone tried to throw the Natural Science Club goat into the river on December 11. On December 23 this goat was torched after a coordinated DDoS attack on the two websites hosting live video webcam feeds.

Nothing, it seems, can save the Yule goat.

Article from: AtlasObscura.com


Video from: YouTube.com


1966: The first goat is burned down - beginning the tradition
1970: It is set on fire six hours after being erected
1971: Schoolchildren build a miniature; it is smashed to pieces
1976: A car crashes into the goat
1979: Goat is burned down before it is finished
1987: Goat is treated with fire-proofing, but is still burned down
2001: Tourist from Cleveland, Ohio is jailed for burning goat
2005: Two men dressed as Santa and Gingerbread Man torch goat





Related Articles
Swedish Christmas straw goat burnt
The Gävle Goat - Wikipedia
The Vikings' burning question: some decent graveside theatre
'The Burning of Judas' Mexico's Easter Festivities
Ancient Irish Tomb Big Draw at Winter Solstice


Latest News from our Front Page

Starbucks Supports Pro-GMO Company
2014 11 26
Another reason why you should not go to Starbucks. Starbucks has an image of being a socially responsible, environmentally friendly company (Really?). In 2013, 95 percent of their coffee was ethically sourced, and their goal is to reach 100 percent by 2015.1 Other goals include reducing water consumption by 25 percent in their company-operated stores by 20152 and mobilizing their employees and ...
Group Polarization and the Fad of Ethno-masochism
2014 11 26
From "Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 6 50 (6): 1141--1151 The psychology of White self hatred. Political correctness IS a mental disorder. More: Group polarization: A critical review and meta-analysis. Isenberg, Daniel J. the paper Indoctrinate U Harvard Professor Noel Ignatiev talks about how to end the White race The History of Political Correctness The Narrative: The origins of Political ...
Credo: A Nietzschean Testament by Jonathan Bowden
2014 11 26
This lecture by Jonathan Bowden was given at the 11th New Right meeting in London on September 8, 2007. The original title of the presentation was “The Art and Philosophy of Jonathan Bowden.” I think ideas are inborn, and you’re attracted, if you have any, toward certain systems of thinking and sensibility and response. From a very young age, I was ...
A Look Back at the OJ Simpson Verdict -- Reactions
2014 11 26
This is a look back at the different reactions to the OJ Simpson verdict some 20 years ago (exact date of verdict was Oct 3, 1995). The OJ Simpson jury consisted of 9 Blacks, 1 Hispanic, and 2 Whites. It would raise eyebrows after they only deliberated for 4 hours in a case that they were involved in for almost ...
New York Times Publishes Darren Wilson’s Street Address and Photo of House #Ferguson
2014 11 26
Hey here are the two @nytimes scumbags that published Wilson’s home address. —> @juliebosman & @campbellnyt— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) November 25, 2014 Michael Brown’s Stepdad Shouting ‘Burn This Bitch Down’ The New York Times published information about the address of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on Monday in a move that has generated controversy. Tensions are running high in Ferguson, Missouri, as ...
More News »