In Sweden, it is traditional to have straw goats with red ribbons as Christmas decorations and mid Sweden has a particularly strong connection to goats as they can live on the pasture in the forested highlands. Consequently, the traders of G?vle decided to sponsor a huge straw ram for December 1966 and that's been done every December since. The problem is just that the 13 metre high creation was set alight already that same Christmas and that is a tradition which has continued. It is easier to count the years it has survived than the years it has not and it has reached world fame for this and for its size which took it to Guinness World of Records 1985. Since 1988, English betting firms take bets on the odds for survival! In 1996 it got a webcam to try and protect it but it hasn't helped and year after year sees a second ram built before Christmas. If they catch the vandals? Usually but not always. In 2001 there was a scandal when an American tourist was caught. He was sentenced to a month in prison and a 100 000 crown fine. His reason for burning it? He thought it was a Swedish tradition! :-)
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I think the Ram is a great idea. I have no idea why people would try and destroy it. Except, perhaps they don't have enough sense of power or importance in their own lives. In fact we could call them impotent. Destroying a age old tradition only leaves us without another story to share and we become a world of bland people without stories or color in our lives.
Do a visit to Furuviksparken,
Sweden’s biggest zoo and amusement park. You will find it just south of Gävle. Open daily throughout the summer.