update on the Swedish Christmas goat, 2008

For the new readers here, I want to let you know about a Christmas tradition in Sweden involving a giant straw goat.  And by giant, I mean over 40 feet tall.  And part of the tradition is that the goat gets burned down by arsonists almost every year.  However, last year they started putting some serious flame-retardant materials on it, so it hasn’t been burned down since.

Here’s what I wrote on it last year: the Swedish Christmas goat.

The city officials there probably think they’re quite clever in their current plans to prevent the giant goat from burning.  But what they don’t realize is that if the goat never burned, it wouldn’t be famous at all.  So with each year that it isn’t burned, it will become more obscure to the rest of the world.

And for the record, I could make it burn…  Nothing is truly fireproof, if you have the right stuff for the job…

And as you might’ve read in some recent comments, plans are underway to start a similar tradition in Mango-Man’s yard.  He doesn’t see the awesomeness of this plan yet, but we’ll eventually convince him (or just build it anyway and let him witness it first-hand).   🙂

the Swedish Christmas goat

Swedish Christmas straw goatI forgot about writing on the giant straw Christmas goat in Sweden this past Christmas.  They build one every year, a big 43 foot tall one which weighs 3 tons.  Almost every year it is burned down by vandals.  Last year they put some special fireproof materials on it, and one of the officials said, “not even napalm can set fire to the goat now”.  To me, that sounds like a challenge…

So I looked online to find out what happened this past year, and I found out there are two giant straw goats built there each year.  One of them was burned down this past year (2007).  I also found out there are people who make bets on when the goat will be burned down.  And in the mid-1980s, there was a guy named Gunnar Hedman who built a 41 foot goat with the help of other village peoples, then after Christmas they burn it down.

Swedish Christmas straw goat on fireI want to build a giant straw Christmas goat, too.  It would be a huge tourism attraction.  This was discussed some last year, when we decided to build it in Mango-Man’s yard, since he has a few acres and lives outside the city limits (so we wouldn’t be subject to city ordinances and such, although they may not have laws against giant straw goats).  We’d sell nachos and hot chocolate, and we’d build bonfires where you can roast marshmallows.  And then at some point we’d burn the goat down, since that’s part of the tradition. It would be a great time.  We could even sell miniature straw goats that people can put under their Christmas tree and then burn whenever they want to.

Sadly, Mango-Man has thus far failed to see the ingeniousness of this plan, and he’s resisting.  But we will keep after him, until he relents or a more suitable place is found.  Someday this will happen, though, and it will be awesome.  (And you heard it here first!)  It can become one of our holiday traditions.

FYI, the Guinness world record for a giant straw Christmas goat is 49 feet high, held by the same people that build one every year.  I’m thinking we can break that, and then we’d be famous.