STOCKHOLM (AP) — In what’s become a Christmas tradition to some Swedes, a giant decorative goat made of straw was set ablaze early Sunday and police arrested a 25-year-old man suspected of arson.
The straw goat is a beloved Christmas symbol in the city of Gavle, in central Sweden. However, it’s also become a tradition of sorts to burn it down.
This year’s edition lasted nearly a month on a downtown square before going up in flames.
Police said they arrested a suspect wearing a balaclava and clothes reeking of lighter fluid. His face was covered in soot and his hair damaged by fire.
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Police said he would be questioned once he sobered up.
The goat is an ancient Scandinavian Yuletide tradition that preceded Santa Claus as the bringer of gifts.