An enormous and iconic straw goat that gets illegally torched almost every Christmas is to be unveiled to the Gävle public on Sunday, with organizers confident a changed in design will keep arsonists at bay.
The Gävle Goat (Gävlebocken) doesn't usually last long. In fact, it has been torched by arsonists on more occasions than it has survived the Christmas period since it was first erected in the town's main square, Slottstorget, in 1966.
But this year, officials have soaked the hay in anti-flammable liquid in the hope of detracting would-be arsonists, although some locals have complained in the past that such a dousing turns the goat an uglier, darker shade. This was also the case in 2006 and 2007, two years the goat stayed upright.
Last year's 13-metre tall structure only lasted until December 12th before it too went up in flames.
So will the goat burn down this year?
"You never know, we've made it from material that's a little stronger this year, so it should be much harder to burn down," a spokesperson at the Gävle tourist office told The Local.
"But we're aware that the goat is only famous because it gets burned. It would be great if it didn't actually burn down this year, because that would be the most unexpected result. Then we might really get a lot of attention."
Indeed, the goat has made headlines in the past after Swedes tried to kidnap the structure by helicopter and after some youths got suspicious goat tattoos shortly after it burned down last year. Once, an American tourist was convicted of arson after he burned it to the ground, thinking it was a harmless tradition and not realizing such an act was indeed against the law.
Good morning dear friends! Soon the whole me is with you, looking forward to it. I've missed you so!
UPDATED: The Christian Democrats' decision to pull out of the controversial December Agreement has led to all of the parties of Sweden's centre-right Alliance opposition grouping nullifying the accord in a decision Prime Minister Stefan Löfven called "outrageous" and which could lead to a snap general election.
Patrik Söderström, a 24-year-old student from the town of Boden in northern Sweden, wanted to test whether the Swedes treated foreign beggars as badly as he had suspected. After spending less than half a day as a “Swedish beggar”, he says the real results shocked and disappointed him.
The Eritrean group landing in Luleå on Friday afternoon. Photo: Robert Nyholm/TT
UPDATED: Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has given Sweden's migration agency permission to set up tent camps to provide temporary shelter for refugees as the country's asylum centres reach saturation point.
The Swedish team is preparing to dance with Liechtenstein ahead of Friday’s clash. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT
As Sweden gears up to take on Liechtenstein in Friday’s crucial qualifier for the 2016 European Championships, Swedish coach Erik Hamrén has looked to other disciplines to ensure his team will walk away with the much-needed three-point win. Apparently, Liechtenstein can’t dance.
My Swedish Career
How do you negotiate your salary in Sweden? Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
From startups to multinationals, many firms in Sweden fix salaries differently to elsewhere in the world. Swedish culture specialist Sofi Tegsveden Deveaux shares her top negotiating tips with The Local.
Fermented herring, or "surströmming", is famed for its smell. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/Scanpix
A team from the Swedish rescue services were more than a little surprised when a presumed gas leak in an apartment building in southern Stockholm turned out to be no more than a fermented herring party.
Two Swedish JAS Gripen jets taking off. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: psdmedia.se