Straw goat goes up in flames in Sweden

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Straw goat goes up in flames in Sweden

Sweden's Christmas goat didn't even last 24 hours, it was burned to the ground on inauguration day.

A 13-metre straw Christmas goat has been destroyed by fire in the Swedish city of Gavle, just hours after it was inaugurated for the festive season, local media reported.

Initial reports suggested that an unknown assailant had climbed a perimeter fence, doused liquid on the goat and set it on fire, even though two security guards were in the vicinity, the Gefle Dagblad reported.

On a website dedicated to the goat, a tweet read: "Oh no, such a short amount of time with you, my friends. But I shall rise from the ashes and see you next year again!"

This is the 50th year a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas symbol was first raised in a central square in Gavle, north of Stockholm. The Yule goat dates back to Norse mythology, but has become a standard part of the contemporary Swedish Christmas celebration.

Attempts to burn it are just as old. It has been set ablaze more than two dozen times. The first time was on New Year's Eve 1966.

Images showed the burned remains of the goat's seven-metre-long black wooden skeleton.

Organisers said they would not attempt to rebuild the effigy this year.