A note on Swedish Christmas traditions

I just read that the big Christmas Goat in Gavle in Sweden has burned down. It made me all giddy with excitement. There is something in that Christmas tradition that appeals to the inner rebel, I think. Every year they put up this gigantic goat of grass and every year, well at least 2/3s of the years it has been up, it is burned down by someone. And national news papers report on it. I love that. It makes me feel all Adeste Fideles.

Now, this is an interesting tradition from a legal sociology standpoint. A few years back an American burned down the goat arguing that it seemed to be a tradition. The courts disagreed and sentenced him to pay damages of 15000 USD and serve a month’s prison term. His defense, that it was a tradition, was disregarded.

Silly him. The tradition is to burn it down, and not get caught.

We will see how this year’s fire bugs do on that score. But I just wanted to announce that it is now formally Christmas season. (Nothing says jolly like setting fire to things…)

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