Gävle Christmas Goat goes up

It's the first of advent, and the first of four candles is lit. Star shaped lights are put in windows. And in Gävle the Christmas Goat is erected. The eternal question is: will it survive this year?

Since 1966, Gävle town has erected an over ten metre tall straw goat in central Gävle, and it has long been the pride of the town. "Don't miss the inauguration of Gävle's biggest celebrity" it says on the town's homepage this Sunday. More often than not, it has been burnt down or otherwise destroyed by pranksters who are egged on by the by now international interest in whether the goat will last till Christmas or not.

A range of non-flammable impregnation methods, volunteers guarding it, a web camera trained on the beast 24/7 - none of it seems to have made any difference. So, the council is this year trying a new method. "We've tried a fence, and non-flammable protection. This year we'll do it with taxis. We are moving a temporary taxi rank close, so there will be people around for as long as possible," Gävle council's communication manager Johan Adolfsson told news agency TT.

And the international interest does not seem to be waning. So far this week, he has been interviewed by three American radio stations, and a German tv-team is following the inauguration on Sunday afternoon.

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