STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden's Christmas Goat — a giant decorative goat made of straw and wood — is celebrating its 50th birthday, but revelers are being asked to keep the candles away.
Every Christmas season since 1966, the city of Gavle in central Sweden builds a giant version of the straw goat — an ancient Scandinavian Yuletide character that precedes Santa Claus as a bringer of gifts.
But it also attracts arsonists and seldom survives the season without someone trying to burn it down.
To improve its odds this year, the goat set up on Sunday was equipped with closed-circuit TV.
After the Gavle goat was torched last year, police arrested a drunken suspect wearing clothes covered in soot and reeking of lighter fluid.