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Giant Christmas straw goat inaugurated in Gävle

Published söndag 29 november 2015 kl 14.41
"It's not only people in Gävle that get very upset and sad when somebody is harming our precious goat."
(2:12 min)
Nu är det bara finputs kvar på Gävlebocken. Foto: Christian Ploog/Sveriges Radio
Preparations before the inauguration of the straw goat in Gävle. Photo: Christian Ploog/Sveriges Radio

The traditional Christmas straw goat also known as Gävlebocken has now been erected in Gävle in central Sweden. The inauguration, which included music, fireworks and a race, started at 3 pm on Sunday.

The 13-meter-tall straw goat gets torched almost every year and countless of different methods have been tried to prevent arsonist from burning the goat to the ground. This year, they have moved the taxi stop closer to the Gävlebock, so that more passersby can help guard the giant straw sculpture.

"It's not only people in Gävle that get very upset and sad when somebody is harming our precious goat, because we are also being watched from 120 countries around the world," Gävlebock committee member Petra Ederborg tells Radio Sweden.

In 2013, the goat was drenched in a new kind of flame retardant liquid and a group of local residents volunteered to guard it, but the Gävlebock was torched on December 21.

The Gävlebock tradition began in 1966, when the first giant straw goat was erected in a central Gävle square.

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