The Yule Goat
The Yule Goat is an interesting individual, his history goes back to pre-Christian Scandinavia. In Finland his name is Joulupukki and in a nutshell he was basically a goat version of Santa Claus. He rides around in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, wears red clothes and hands out Christmas gifts. In some traditions he’s just a spirit that appears to ensure that Christmas preparations are in order.
These days in most regions he’s been replaced by Saint Nicholas but many people still incorporate him into Santa’s entourage, and the modern version of the Yule goat is a decorative ornament made out of straw and bound with red ribbons and it is placed below the Christmas Tree.
One notable straw goat is The Gävle goat, which is a gigantic straw Yule goat in Gavle Sweden. It has the distinction of being the largest Yule Goat, and it has become an unfortunate tradition for vandals to torch the goat every year or so, some goats don’t even last longer than six days before being destroyed. Burning the goat is an illegal act and it is not officially welcomed by the people of Gävle but it does draw tourists into town.
There is even a Christmas song about the goat:
For highly informative articles on Christmas folklore follow the links:
Posted in Art, Christmas and tagged Art, Christmas, Folklore, Funny, holidays, Joulu, Joulupukki, Ornaments, Pyhä Nikolaus, Strange, the refreshments billy goat, traditions, Yule goat by maroonbeard with no comments yet.