Julbocken is the Swedish version of the traditional Yule goat and is located in Sweden. According to Swedish Christmas legends, the Julbocken brings presents for children on Christmas Eve and so does the 'Jultomten', the Swedish Santa Clause. Today, small straw goats representing Julbocken are used as popular Christmas ornaments for decorations and Christmas gifts. The town of Gavle is best known for its Christmas giant straw goat or 'Julbocken', mounted in Slottstorget (Castle Square). The Gavle Goat is the first giant version of the Yule goat figure, made from straw. Every year, the Gavle goat is built on the first day of the season of Advent. This straw goat figure is known for being repeatedly demolished or burnt down by vandals, since it was first constructed in 1966, Gavle. The vandalizing of the giant straw goat has become more of a dark tradition of the town that has been followed for years. Whizz through this article for more information on the Gavle Goat.
The Giant Julbocken
The Gavle goat is an enormous, Swedish goat figure and is located at the Slottstorget or 'Castle Square' in central Gavle. Apart from the size, what makes this giant figure even more special is that, the whole structure is made of straw. Every year, the Gavle goat is erected in Gavle, and an annual competition is held. Southern Merchants, who are a local association in Gavle, try to outstage other groups by erecting the largest Gavle Goat. Another Yule goat figure and is set up by a group of students coming from the Natural Science Club of the School of Vasa. The Natural Science Club was acclaimed for constructing the world's largest Yule goat but since 1994, the Southern Merchant built straw goats that were larger and had gained more publicity. The straw goats have been victims of sabotage since time immemorial, and to date, as a part of murky customs, the straw goats are still being burnt and vandalized.
History Of Gavle Goat
The history of the Gavle goat can be traced back to 1966, when a man named Stig Gavlen, an advertising consultant, had an idea to build a giant version of the Swedish Christmas straw goat. His intention for making a giant goat was to attract tourists, to visit the restaurants and shops, in the southern part of the city center. The first Gavle goat was erected on 2nd December, 1966 in Gavle. It was 426 feet tall, 7 meters long and it weighed about 3 tons. On New Year's Eve, at midnight, the goat is torched in flames. Over the years, the Gavle goat has been burnt down several times and subject to numerous acts of vandalism. The doubt whether the Gavle goat would survive until Christmas Day is in the minds of every Swedish national. There are those who take pride in the giant Swedish Christmas goat and those who take pride in watching it burn to the ground.
A great amount of money is pooled in every year to erect the giant goat. Several attempts to protect the figure have been adopted by the Swedish officials. Security cameras and guards are posted all around the Castle Square. A 'Fireproof ProTechtor Solvent Base' was applied to the goat in 2006, which proved successful in providing a fireproof protection. The fireproof base did not retain the original color of the straw goat; so instead, another effort was made in 2011. The figure was doused in ice water to protect the goat from fire, but the goat was torched even before Christmas could arrive.
Origin Of Julbocken
'Jultomten' is Sweden's Santa Claus or Father Christmas, who brings presents for little children on Christmas Eve. Jultomten, garden gnomes and 'Julbocken', the Swedish Christmas goat are traditional characters of Swedish Christmas celebrations. In Sweden, the Christmas decorations include figures of the Julbocken, made of straw and bound with red ribbons. Swedish people put straw Julbocken under their Christmas trees and even hang them on the walls for good luck.
Sweden's Christmas goat or Julbocken are known to have two prominent forms. One of the famous goat figures is the giant straw version in Gavle, which is now more popularly known for being the target for vandalism. The other Julbocken is in the Swedish Island of Gotland.
Julbocken is a Swedish Christmas goat who according to Swedish legends, brought gifts for good children. Inspired by this Christmas character, a giant version of Julbocken, made from straw is built in Gavle and is known as the Gavle Goat. Swedish people hang tiny Julbocken on their Christmas trees as a part of traditional Swedish customs.