Here’s a unique Christmas tradition. Every year in Gavle, Sweden, the city puts up a 43-foot-high goat made of straw, and almost every year it is burned down by vandals. The straw goat is a centuries-old tradition, and the giant version has been put up annually since 1966. Only 10 have survived beyond Christmas Day. Most were burned, although several were beaten down and the 1976 goat was hit by a car. The vandals are rarely caught, but in 2001 an American was caught and had to spend 18 days in jail.
There’s a webcam setup this year, so you can keep an eye on the giant straw goat. (If anyone sees it on fire, please post a comment here immediately so we can all check it out.)
This year, authorities have doused the straw goat with flame-resistant chemicals and are sure it cannot be burned. A spokeswoman for the committee in charge of building the goat said, “It is impossible to burn it to the ground this year.” The company that provided the fireproof treatment said, “Not even napalm can set fire to the goat now.”
To me, the label “non-flammable” constitutes a challenge… 🙂 I imagine some others feel the same way. The authorities are just tempting someone to try.
But I won’t be burning it down. It’s way too far away. But I do have an alternate plan. Since I heard of this last year, I’ve thought about how cool it would be to build one here in central Arkansas. I have a friend who has a couple of unused acres, and it’s just outside of city limits. It could get really popular, drawing in tourists from around the country. He could sell nachos and hot dogs and miniature straw goats, and setup bonfires (not too close) for all the guests. So he’d make money, we’d get kinda famous, and it would be a good time for all. I don’t see any problems with doing this. Is anyone with me?