In 2007 The goat was impregnated with flame retardant chemicals and was not attacked by arsonists.
Goat set on fire on 23 December by Lawrence Jones, a 51-year-old visitor from Cleveland, Ohio, who spent 18 days in jail and was subsequently convicted and ordered to pay 100,000 Swedish kronor in damages. The court also confiscated Jones's cigarette lighter with the argument that he clearly was not able to handle it. Jones stated in court that he is no "goat burner", and believed that he was taking part in a completely legal goat-burning tradition. After Jones was released from prison he went straight back to the US without paying his fine.
2005 Burned by unknown vandals reportedly dressed as Santa and a gingerbread man by shooting a flaming arrow or molotov cocktail at the goat at 21:00 on 3 December.
2006 On the night of 25 December, a drunken man managed to climb up on the goat. Before the police arrived on the scene the man climbed down and disappeared. He did not try to set fire to the goat. The Southern Merchants' goat survived New Year's Eve and was taken down on 2 January. It is now stored in a secret location.
A Swedish custom that has been known up to this century is juleoffer (Yule Sacrifice), where young men with their faces grimed would dance and sing. One of the men was dressed up as the Yule Goat, while the others pretended to slaughter it. During the singing, different slaughter tools were brought in, and the dance ended with the Yule Goat being slaughtered, and then it would wake up again.
The Yule Goat is nowadays best known as a Christmas ornament, a figure, often made out of straw or roughly-hewn wood. In older Scandinavian society a popular prank was to place the Yule Goat in a neighbour's house without them noticing; the family successfully pranked had to get rid of it in the same way.... Large versions of this ornament are frequently erected in towns and cities around Christmas time — these goats tend to be illegally set on fire before Christmas. The Gävle goat was the first of these goats, and remains the most famous as well as the most burnt down.
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