Posted by: adoseofliberty | December 25, 2009

Stockholm: Burn the Christmas Goat!

All that's left...

Photo: EPA

In Stockholm, Sweden early Wednesday morning, arsonists set fire to a giant 12-meter tall straw statue of the Swedish Yule goat in the town square.

“It’s a tradition to burn it down,” Lofberg said. “It’s happened an untold number of times since the 1960s … it’s been burned down more years than it’s survived.”

Before Santa Claus became popular, Swedish men would “dress up as goats and hand out presents to well-behaved children.”

Police have tried a range of tactics to stop would-be arsonists, including posting guards near the straw goat, coating it with flame retardant and training security cameras on it.

But vandals have usually found a way around the foils and their assaults have become more elaborate: in recent years the goat has been run over, dragged into a river and attacked by arsonists dressed as Santa Claus and the Ginger Bread Man.

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