Thursday, December 7, 2023

Gävle Goat

The last sheaf of grain bundled in the harvest was credited with magical properties as the spirit of the harvest and saved for the Yule celebrations, called among other things Yule goat (Julbocken).

More interesting info from Wikipedia: "During the 19th century the Yule goat's role all over Scandinavia shifted towards becoming the Christmas gift-bringer, with one of the men in the family dressing up as the Yule goat."

We've got the Yule goat today, in particular the Gävle Goat in Gävle, Sweden. The Gävle Goat kicks off the Advent season and has a 50/50 chance of surviving the season intact, due to an arson problem they have had over the years. (In 2001, the goat was burned down by an American who stated in court that "he was no 'goat burner,' and believed that he was taking part in a completely legal goat-burning tradition.") If you want to keep an eye on the Goat, they have a live cam here. (The pixels are to give people walking around privacy.)

I bring you the Gävle Goat!

Snowy Gävle goat
photo by Tony Nordin

A scale model of the burning Gävle goat in Miniature Kingdom in Kungsör, Sweden
photo by Sinikka Halme

And here's a Yule goat by Jenny Nyström:

1 comment:

Pop said...

Fascinating! I do wonder, though, what a guy dressed as the Yule goat looked like. ;-)