Swedish Christmas

This year I’d like to introduce you to two interesting Swedish traditions.

The first is that of the Gävle goat.  In the Swedish city of Gävle every year they build a big straw goat.

For some reason a tradition for burning down the goat has arisen with the result that a variety of anti-vandalism schemes have been tried ranging from guards to coating the straw with flame resistance material.

This year, however, the vandals were on track to outdo themselves.

Two mysterious men attempted to bribe a guard to leave his post watching over the giant goat in Gävle in eastern Sweden in an attempt to kidnap the iconic Christmas symbol using a helicopter.

Last year, the goat was torched in the early hours of December 23rd, while in 2008, it survived through Christmas, only to go up in flames on December 27th.

The full timeline of the goats and their fates can be found here (very entertaining read).

You can keep tabs on the goat yourself on its webcam here.

Next, we have  ‘Julmust‘, or Christmas soda.

Basically it’s a Coca-cola clone that is served at Christmas time (it’s relabeled around Easter and called påskmust). It elicits a very strong reaction among Mrs. TwShiloh and is considered an essential element of the holidays.  Fortunately, she’s part of a little clique of Swedes that can return to the motherland on a semi-regular bases and get the essentials if they can’t be purchased here.

From Wikipedia:

In Sweden, julmust outsells Coca-Cola during the Christmas season; in fact, the consumption of Coca-Cola drops by as much as 50% over Christmas…

Enjoy!

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