The Gävle Goat is now 50 years old

Raymond Chen

In 1966, the Swedish town of Gävle started the tradition of erecting a giant goat made of straw for the Christmas holiday season, and it continues to be the leading example of same. This sounds weird out of context, but a Christmas goat made of straw is a long-standing Swedish tradition.

Anyway, the tradition began in 1966, so the goat is now 50 years old. (Note: Not actually the same goat. Because read on.)

As the goat himself blogged, “I’m bock.”¹ The Gävle Goat also tweets, in both Swedish and English, and it has an Instagram account.

The Gävle Goat is famous for many things. It’s an annual tradition. It holds the Guiness world record for the largest straw goat. It has a round-the-clock webcam. And most years, vandals burn it down. (Wikipedia has a rundown of the goat’s fate in nearly every year of its existence.)


¹ This is a multilingual pun (my favorite kind). The Gävle Goat goes by the Swedish name Gävlebocken. which means, um, “The Gävle Goat.” The Swedish word for goat is bock.


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