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Saturday, December 18, 2021

Gavle Goat burned for the first time in five years

Many Swedes mourn, though some don’t

By Will Collette

I used to write about the Gavle Goat, a traditional Christmas ritual in the town of Gavle, Sweden started in 1966 based on ancient pagan rites. It’s a 42 foot high effigy of a goat constructed over straw over a metal frame. What made the Gavle Goat special was its tendency to get burned down by arsonists.

Since the town leaders were not in on the joke and were not amused at the arson, the local police would increase security each year to the point where, five years ago, the arson was stopped and all was quiet in Gavle for the last five years.

That ended Friday morning when the Goat went up in flames. The police have a suspect in custody, a man in his 40s.

The Gavle Goat is dead. Long live the Goat!

Perhaps, in a show of respect, there might be a moment of silence before the torch is set to Charlestown’s New Year’s Eve bonfire in remembrance of the 2021 untimely death of the Gavle Goat.