As festive season closes in around us, it’s worth mentioning my favourite civic fixture of the Scandinavian winter calendar – Sweden’s Gävle goat.

As the name suggests, it’s a giant goat, and it’s built (this is the cunning part) in the town of Gävle.  This is the 42nd time the goat has been erected, and the chief reason for its global popularity is that it has a tendency to be set on fire.  In recent years the Central Goat Planning Committee have deployed preventative measures to ensure that the goat doesn’t get torched – 2006 and 2007 for instance saw the goat coated in a special fireproof substance which is used in aircraft, however according to Swedish news source “The Local”, the committee have not fireproofed the goat this year, as the liquid gave the goat a dull brown appearance rather than the yellow colour that it should be.

Arguably as a security measure, the goat also has a live webcam so you can check to see if it has been burnt down.  You never saw such a Web 2.0 straw goat (for some reason, it also appears to have a blog).

Please enjoy with me now.