Heightened security and mild weather allowed IKEA’s Christmas Goat to remain intact through the holiday season, to the surprise of everyone involved.
The Christmas Goat at the IKEA in Garðabær/Hafnarfjörður, borrowed from the Swedish Gävle Goat tradition, has long suffered at the hands of arsonists and Iceland’s characteristic high winds. This year, Icelanders were treated to a Christmas miracle: the Goat survived. Þórarinn Ævarsson, the managing director of IKEA in Iceland, was himself delighted.
“People have been saying that this is some kind of advertising gimmick, to burn the Goat, but that isn’t the case,” he told RÚV. “This costs millions. There are about 5,000 lights on the goat. We really don’t want it to be burned, it’s decorated so nicely.”
Þórarinn added that an attempt at burning the Goat was made, but the would-be perpetrators were apprehended while fleeing the scene.
The Christmas Goat has had a past filled with hardship and misfortune. Last year, it was the victim of arson, but the year before that, it self-immolated due to faulty wiring. In both 2010 and 2012, vandals set fire to the goat. In 2011 and 2013, unusually high winds tore down the goat, whose thin metal frame was unable to stand up against Iceland’s trademark gusts.
That the Christmas Goat was able to survive the holidays in one piece is, in light of this, nothing short of miraculous.