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'It means so much': Survival of straw Christmas goat celebrated like a World Cup win

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'It means so much': Survival of straw Christmas goat celebrated like a World Cup win
For once the Gävle Christmas Goat survived New Year. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT
14:04 CET+01:00
There were emotional celebrations in Gävle over the unlikely survival of the town's straw goat through the entirety of Christmas 2017, bucking the trend of it burning down before the festive period is over.

"It means so much, there's really a lot of sadness and anger when the goat is subjected to an attack," the straw mascot's official spokesperson – yes, it has an official spokesperson – Maria Wallberg told Swedish news agency TT.

For the uninitiated, Gävle has been building a giant straw goat every Christmas since 1966. Most years it meets an untimely demise when it is (illegally) burned down, stolen or vandalized. On its 50th anniversary in 2016 it was burned down only hours after the official opening, when someone took advantage of a security guard's toilet break to sneak in and set it ablaze.

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Not this year. The 2017 edition's unusual ability to avoid combustion prompted a two hour-long live broadcast of it being dismantled on Tuesday, as well as live tweets of the event with tongue firmly in cheek – no pun intended.

 

Rest in peace 😳🙏🏻 #gävlebocken #rip #sweden

A post shared by Jimmy Lenefjäll (@jimmylenefjall) on

The secret to the goat's survival for the first time since 2014 is according to Wallberg likely a combination of higher fences placed around it this time, the presence of a security guard, and heavy fines being dealt out to previous goat-burners.

READ ALSO: Gävle goat targeted in foiled helicopter heist

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