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Goats Up In Smoke
December 2, 2011 9:41 PM   Subscribe

This years Gavle Goat has already been set ablaze. The Gävle Goat was mentioned on the blue a few years ago. The Gävle Goat is a 13-meter (42+ feet) tall straw structure that’s built in the center of Gävle, Sweden at Christmastime every year. And every year somebody has tried to burn this giant Yuletide Goat to the ground. Often successfully. Well, it happened again today at 2:54 am. This year there is film of the fire as well as a live webcam of its charred remains.
posted by hubs (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aww, wait til the 25th at least guys. Bonfires are great and all but this is such premature ignition.
posted by The Whelk at 9:42 PM on December 2, 2011


They should just make burning the goat a thing like burning man, turn it into a tourist attraction.
posted by empath at 9:52 PM on December 2, 2011


SPOILER: Nicolas Cage was inside the goat. And it wasn't as good as the 1973 Gävle Goat.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:59 PM on December 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


I've understood that the Gävle Goat has become a tourist attraction precisely because the arsonists succeed only some years but not others.

The score card says this year they tried protecting the goat by coating it in ice, which didn't work nearly as well as the fire retardant they often use.

There is usually a backup goat ready to be assembled if the first goat goes up, btw.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:00 PM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


empath: Half the fun of the whole thing is the warfare between the arsonists and the goat erectors. This year they sprayed it with water hoping it would ice up too much to be flammable. This was not successful. Last year's got a good coating of flame retardant, and if I recall correctly made it to the end of the year charred but still good.

I am always delighted to see the Yule tradition of sacrifice to see the return of the sun, but this is a bit early, a bit like watching your soccer team take a 12-0 victory. Still fulfilling, but not as good as a challenging match.
posted by Jilder at 10:02 PM on December 2, 2011


goat erector
Not a job you'd want to put on your passport.
posted by Abiezer at 10:11 PM on December 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am always delighted to see the Yule tradition of sacrifice to see the return of the sun ...

Originally, they may have been burning "witches"
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:24 PM on December 2, 2011


Well, this is Sweden we're talking about, so it the goat has stronger ties to classical Norse mythology. From Wikipedia:

"Its origins might go as far back as to pre-Christian days, where goats were connected to the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, and carried his hammer Mjöllnir. The "Prose Edda", written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, relates that when Thor kills and cooks the goats, their flesh provides sustenance for the god and his guests, and after Thor resurrects them with his hammer they are brought back to life the next day."
posted by Jilder at 10:34 PM on December 2, 2011


Next year, they'll build a goat with countermeasures.
posted by arcticseal at 11:05 PM on December 2, 2011


Fun fact for the non-Swedes and folks who have not heard Swedes.

Gävle is pronounced Yaev-le .

Gothenberg is Yo-te-bory and Bjorn Borg is Byon Bory.

The Borg thing really surprised me. Imagine being known mainly by the wrong pronounciation of your name.
posted by sien at 1:55 AM on December 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bielefeld is famous for its existence being a government conspiracy.
(A student once yelled "he's part of the conspiracy" when I told my class that the previous place I'd worked in Germany was Bielefeld)
posted by jeffburdges at 5:19 AM on December 3, 2011


I want a giant goat that shits Krampuses.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:20 AM on December 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


See also Inymar Beryman
posted by omnikron at 5:20 AM on December 3, 2011


Later on, we'll conspire
How to set, a goat on fire
To face unafraid
The inferno we made
Walking in a winter wonder-Norrland
posted by argonauta at 6:38 AM on December 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Runes at 7:58 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I came here to put a link to The Refreshments' excellent holiday song "The Billy Goat" which is about this exact thing... only it doesn't seem to be on YouTube or anything.
posted by hippybear at 8:26 AM on December 3, 2011


I don't know about any of you, but an 18 year old Freen would have made short work of this goat. Let me put it this way: There are precious few things a magnesium ignited thermite tipped flaming arrow will not set ablaze, much less a 42 foot tall stack of hay.

In my humble opinion, that these so called 'arsonists' do not have a 100% success rate does not bode well for the Swedish youth.
posted by Freen at 11:11 AM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, is this like how we dump the Bluth Banana Stand into the harbor every Christmas?
posted by Navelgazer at 12:12 PM on December 3, 2011


Fun fact for the non-Swedes and folks who have not heard Swedes.

This seems to me to be a thing with Scandinavian languages. Nothing turns out to be pronounced the way you expect it will. A Danish guy once taught me how to pronounce 'Kierkegaard', and damn me if the crazy fucker didn't seem to have 5 syllables in his name. I tried dropping that pronunciation a few times, but brought only shame upon myself.

In the light of your information, I think Björk should marry Bjorn Borg.
posted by howfar at 2:26 PM on December 3, 2011


There are security guards who complicate the attack, Freen, meaning one must plan around their habits. Your thermite could easily pass through the goat to burn itself out harmlessly on the ground, without necessarily igniting the flame retardant straw on the way through.

Arsonists should also avoid giving repeat performances if they wish their attack to be memorable. In 2005, Santa and a Gingerbread man burnt the goat down by firing an ordinary flaming arrow into it, meaning the bow attack has been done already. A viking catapult perhaps? A giant flaming straw tiger could perhaps "eat" even a fully flame retardant goat. An honest guard thwarted 2010''s attempted theft by helicopter, meaning that approach remains open too.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:58 PM on December 3, 2011


I'm hard-pressed to choose between "Backup Goat" and "Prose Edda" for my new band name.
posted by chavenet at 3:52 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's wrong with 'Prose Edda Backup Goat'? You will need a Mellotron player, though.
posted by howfar at 4:26 PM on December 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wish we had something like this in American Christmas tradition. Instead, we just have stealing the baby Jesus out of manger scenes on lawns.
posted by autoclavicle at 9:31 AM on December 4, 2011


In 2005, Santa and a Gingerbread man burnt the goat down by firing an ordinary flaming arrow into it, meaning the bow attack has been done already.

OK, people, with that sentence we ratchet one notch closer to The End Of The Internet.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:33 AM on December 5, 2011


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