Culture

A tribute to Sweden’s gigantic Christmas goat, killed by fire

Updated:

Player utilities

Listen to the story.

A traditional Christmas goat display is pictured in Gavle, Sweden, November 27, 2016.

A traditional Christmas goat display is pictured in Gavle, Sweden, November 27, 2016. 

Credit:

TT News Agency/Pernilla Wahlman

UPDATE: The City of Gälve has placed a smaller, replica of the Gävle goat in the city center as a replacement yule goat for the holiday season. No one has lit it on fire (yet).

In 1966, a Swedish man named Stig Gavlen had an idea that would, in the future, go down in flames — and yet become the one reason people around the world know his hometown.

Gavlen took the Scandinavian tradition of yule goats — tiny, typically made of straw — and made it bigger. Gigantic, in fact. He wanted something marketable, so he got the fire department to create a 23-foot straw yule goat. It came to stand in the city center of Gävle.

And then someone burned it to the ground.

It was a sad day for the goat. And it put in motion a dark tradition.

Now in its 50th year, only 14 goats have lived to see the entire holiday season. The rest turned into a bleating pile of ash, including this year's goat. It cost nearly a quarter-million dollars, and it didn't last a day.

But the goat reached out to its mourners via Twitter.

In memoriam Gävle goat, here are some of our favorite goat gifs, tweets and images. RIP.

Goat Gif

Credit: Giphy

Goat Gif

Credit: Giphy

Goat Gif

Credit: Giphy

Goat Gif

Credit: Giphy

Goat Gif

Credit: Giphy

Goat Gif

Credit: Giphy

Goat Gif

Could this goat below be the Gävlen goat's spirit?

Credit: Giphy

Goat Gif

Credit: Giphy

Related Stories