Sweden's Flammable Christmas Goat Has Birthday, No Candles

Officials hope no one tries to torch the yule goat again this year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 27, 2016 11:37 AM CST

(Newser) – Sweden's Christmas Goat—a giant decorative goat made of straw and wood—is celebrating its 50th birthday, but revelers are being asked to keep the candles away, reports the AP. Every Christmas season since 1966, the city of Gavle in central Sweden builds a giant version of the straw goat—an ancient Scandinavian Yuletide character that precedes Santa Claus as a bringer of gifts. But it also attracts arsonists and seldom survives the season without someone trying to burn it down. To improve its odds this year, the goat set up on Sunday was equipped with closed-circuit TV. After the Gavle goat was torched last year, police arrested a drunken suspect wearing clothes covered in soot and reeking of lighter fluid. (Read more Sweden stories.)

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