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Gävle goat succumbs to flames

TT/Charlotte West · 23 Dec 2009, 08:49

Published: 23 Dec 2009 08:49 GMT+01:00

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While last year's goat managed to survive until December 27th, this year the 13-metre-tall straw billy succumbed to flames just three days before Christmas.

This was the 43rd traditional straw goat that Gävle has erected in the main city square a few weeks prior to Christmas. It has become a local sport to attempt to burn the goat to the ground.

“It was more or less just a skeleton by the time we got there,” Göran Lyrberg, commander on duty at the Gävle police, told TT news agency.

No one has been arrested for the incident, which is classified as serious vandalism. Most Gävle goats have been burned down or vandalised in some other way.

In the last couple of years, the goat has not been treated with flame retardant because it previously discoloured the straw creature and detracted from its grand stature.

Story continues below…

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TT/Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:31 December 23, 2009 by benomax
Hahahaha, is this a sort of fetish ritual to appease a god or?
09:44 December 23, 2009 by xenyasai
I honestly do not see why this "tradition" is funny.

What about putting up CCTV directed at the goat?

One would assume it might be important to catch who is doing this as it is considered as serious vanndalism.
10:04 December 23, 2009 by Osokin
"What about putting up CCTV directed at the goat?"

what about balaclavas ? :)
10:26 December 23, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Swedes like new traditions, well here is another one.

Give them a few years and it will become and official that the locals will attend and will be televised on STV1 during prime time where all Swedes sit with their family and watch it burn.
12:11 December 23, 2009 by xenyasai

"what about balaclavas ? :)"

Touché. ;)
13:37 December 23, 2009 by Beynch
It would be perfectly p;ossible to make a goat out of non-flammable material. I'm beginning to think that the annual goat bonfire is a deliberate planned scam by the City authorities. This is great publicity fot their city! Gävle is now on the global map!
14:28 December 23, 2009 by TyChee
This is so sad. I am visiting the area from the States in a few days and was hoping to see the famous goat intact. I hear that there is no backup goat this year either. Oh well... maybe next year. :-(
15:59 December 23, 2009 by Caribbean guy/Swedish Gal
@ Beynch

I totally agree with ya !
16:37 December 23, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
The goat is a interesting quagmire in Gavle.

Firstly, it costs the southern merchants a stupid amount of money to contribute to this goat (My best freinds store is next to that transit van in the above picture).

Then, you have the people that say the goat shouldn't be burned, because it's thier money, it costs alot, it's pretty, it kills the jul spirit, etc.

The fact is, Gavle would just be another humble medium sized city in the scandinavian backwoods if it wasn't for this torchable goat. Instead, Gavle is known world over for this "sport", and has begun to grow a kind of reputation, or brand. It's on the map now! (in agreement with Beynch).

I can assure you, the municipality is NOT up to this. The've gone so far as posting CCTV cameras on it.
18:38 December 23, 2009 by jm77
Errm, the webcams were de-activated during the arson. Therefore it must be an inside job. I cant believe that a hooligan would go through all the effort to hack the webcams inorder to burn the goat.

Sad that the authorities must destroy the goat just for some coverage in the media.
22:27 December 23, 2009 by mdl29907
This happens eveeeeeeeeeeeery year. If the police and community really wanted to do something about it the would post the polis or at least securitas people to watch over the goat.

I kind of assume the burning in itself has become somewhat of a ritual.

Agree with a previous poster that if this indeed has become a ritual at least put it on tv for all to watch.
23:09 December 23, 2009 by dizzymoe33
I live in Poulsbo, Washington USA and it was in the local news today about the goat being burned. So you have definately made world-wide news. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and God Jul.
00:52 December 24, 2009 by Mox Mox The Manburner
Unbelievable that the stupid goat gets so much attention from people in other countries as well.
04:44 December 24, 2009 by Da Goat
Why go to all the above trouble of security when a good burning archery arrow would do a spectacular job!

that would look good on cctv they can do this next year to add some more spice to the tradition

and the next year they could use a time delay incendiary, stuff it in the straw at lunch time and sit back and wait!
21:21 December 25, 2009 by goatrider
Hey, is that the Gävle goat, or a Chinese Volve after a minor accident?
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