Monday, December 29, 2008

Xmas Fun In Sweden

"A giant straw goat erected each Christmas in eastern Sweden was set on fire on Saturday in a violent tradition of vandalism during the festive season that has spanned four decades.
Each year the people of Gavle build a 43-foot-tall straw goat, a traditional Scandinavian symbol of Christmas. But since the yuletide tradition began in the central Swedish city of Gavle in 1966, it has also drawn vandals, who have torched the animal 23 times since it was first set up to mark the holiday season. While the 2007 goat made it through the Christmas period intact, in other years it has been smashed, run over by a car and had its legs cut off.
Vandals are rarely caught, but in 2001, a 51-year-old American tourist spent 18 days in jail after he was convicted of setting fire to the structure.
In 2005, the goat was burned down by two arsonists dressed as Father Christmas and the Gingerbread Man. They were never caught."


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