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At Christmas, this town builds a Giant Yule goat and then torches it

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We all celebrate the holidays in our ways. Some of us with friends and family, some of us with food and drink, and, in a small town in Sweden, with constructing a 40-foot tall Yule Goat out of straw and then burning it the ground.

Today, we looked at some of the more alarming faces that Santa Claus has sported over the years, and one rather darling one: The Yule Goat, a pre-Santa mythical goat who first began his holiday tenure in Scandinavia by monitoring the general level of holiday-preparedness, and demanding gifts as a tribute for this service.


Eventually, the script was flipped, first to make Yule Goat the bearer of gifts not the receiver, and then, later, to disappear him entirely from the holiday canon. Except not quite! Commenter urabutln informs us that, in Sweden, the spirit of the Yule Goat remains alive and well:

Actually, the Yule Goat isn't totally gone in Scandinavia; first off, an ubiquitous christmas ornament is the Yule Goat, made of straw (there's also a huge one built every year in the town of Gävle in Sweden, which people try to burn. It's happened almost every year, and has become a tradition in itself, despite it being a felony)

Second, at least in my family, the Yule Goat would be the one who had left us a small gift on the morning of the 24th, the one that was supposed to keep us occupied until Santa arrived (in Scandinavia, he arrives in the evening of the 24th). 56 minutes ago


Yes, it's true. The Yule Goat lives on — and apparently thrives in adversity. Although fire and a slow decline into obscurity are not the only dangers faced by the Yule Goat (it was also once the subject of a foiled helicopter heist), the Yule Goat, as befits the modern holiday symbol, also has a webcam feed, a Twitter page, and Instagram (filled almost entirely with Yule Goat selfies, naturally.)

Images: Yule Goat Instagram / Yule Goat webcam