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Yule Goat 2023

A giant goat statue made of straw is erected on the first day of Advent

Yule Goat
Yule Goat
A Yule goat

Yule goat is a Scandinavian Christmas tradition, which originates from a Germanic pagan culture. There's a theory that goats were celebrated because Thor, god of thunder and lightning, rode in a chariot drawn by two goats. Figurines and statues of goats, made of straw, appear at the beginning of the Advent season. Some of these statues can be quite massive. The most famous Yule goat in Sweden is the Gävle goat, erected in the oldest city of the historical Norrland,

Gävle goat

Gävle goat (or Gävlebocken) is erected annually at Slottstorget (Castle Square) of Gävle by local community groups. The colossal goat has an impressive height of about 43 ft (13 m). Unfortunately, almost every year, some pranksters burn the giant goat to the ground. Since the 1960s, the majority of Gävle goats have been destroyed or damaged. Despite video surveillance and a fire department watch nearby, the goat was burned in 2021, which marked the first such incident in five years. The media has called Gävle goat a catnip for arsonists.

Yule goat is mentioned in many Swedish Christmas songs. It has been a Christmas symbol in the country before Santa Claus. Goats made of straw, decorated with red ribbons, are still a very popular Christmas ornament.

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen