Scandinavian Yule Goat Ornament
The Yule goat is a Scandinavian/Northern European Yule and Christmas symbol and tradition. Its origin may be Germanic pagan and has existed in many variants during Scandinavian history. Considered one of the oldest traditions in Scandinavia, the Julbock or "Yule Goat" was the bringer of gifts to the household. Having a Julbock in your home is a symbol of "Jul" and a time of good cheer. In the Norse pagan religion, the goat was the conveyance of the gods - early images of Odin in a goat-drawn cart are eerily similar to later depictions of Santa Claus. Modern representations of the Yule goat are typically made of straw.
In towns and cities throughout Sweden during the Christmas season, large goats are constructed out of straw. It is thought that the tradition originated in ancient times, perhaps as a tribute to the god Thor, who was said to ride in a chariot pulled by goats. In Sweden, the goat came to be associated with the Christmas celebration, and the Yule goat is now considered by many to be a companion or counterpart to Santa Claus.
Style and shapes vary
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