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I'm in Gävle, a city in Sweden, about a hundred miles north of Stockholm.
And every year, they have a Christmas tradition: build an enormous goat out of straw and put
it in the town square.
It's called the Gävle Goat.
There is a second Christmas tradition in Gävle.
Burning the goat down.
It's not like Guy Fawkes' Night in Britain, or Burning Man in California,
where something is built to be burned down.
Burning this down is arson, it is completely illegal,
and genuinely, the people who make the giant straw goat
do not want their giant straw goat to be burned down.
Giant straw goats are expensive.
It's just that in the fifty years that a ten-metre-high, mostly-unprotected goat
made of extremely flammable straw has been put up here,
the goat has only survived twelve times.
Usually, it's burned down.
In 1976, it was hit by a car.
In 1979, it was burned down before it even made it here.
In 1988, you could place a bet on whether the goat would burn down.
Or at least you could, until the goat burned down.
In 2001, an American tourist burned it down, and when he was arrested
he said his friends had told him that burning the goat was an entirely legal tradition.
He got a couple of weeks in jail, didn't get his cigarette lighter back,
and left Sweden without paying a large fine.
In 2005, vandals dressed as Santa Claus and gingerbread men
fired a burning arrow at the goat and burned it down.
In 2006, the city fireproofed the goat.
It burned down.
In 2009, there were webcams set up to spot vandals.
Those cameras were taken offline with a denial of service attack
just before the goat burned down.
In 2011, they sprayed the goat with water to form a protective coat of ice.
It burned down.
It is massive and it is made of tinder,
it is really, really easy to burn down this goat.
Now, the local fire brigade are only two minutes away, and sometimes they win.
In 2014, despite three arson attempts, the goat did survive.
And now, it's 2016, the goat was put up just a few days ago,
and as I record this, it's still there.
All it takes to create a tradition like this
is the same thing happening for a few years in a row.
This goat wouldn't be famous if it didn't burn down.
I wouldn't be here.
This would just be a small local display.
But every year, someone takes the risk of a fine and criminal record and time in jail
to try and burn down someone else's hard work,
probably because they're drunk when they do it.
And that strange, in-the-shadows, battle,
that almost sitcom-like plot,
gets the world interested,
and sends a few tourists to a fairly obscure Swedish city.
Place your bets.
Quick update: I'm back in London, just landed at Heathrow airport,
literally just a few hours after filming that.
The goat has already been burned to the ground.