The Yule goat is a Scandinavian tradition that varies over time and place. The goat brings gifts to children; the goat is a symbolic sacrifice; the goat is a prank that you sneak into a neighbor’s yard. In the Swedish town of Gävle, the goat became an effigy made of straw, built in the town square every year since 1966. At 13 meters tall, the Gävle Goat towers over the townspeople. The very first straw goat in 1966 was mysteriously set on fire at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Since then, the goat has been erected every year, and burned by unknown individuals about half of those years. Locals take sides, with some protecting the goat with schemes like soaking it in water, while others plot its demise. Yet others make bets on whether the goat will survive into the new year.