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Straw goat heralds festive shopping season

19.10.2021 - 12:15
IKEA geitin
 Mynd: Anna Lilja Þórisdóttir - Ljósmynd
Weighing a tonne and a half, with head and horns reaching gracefully to the sky, the IKEA goat is hard to miss once again this year, after taking its place outside the store in Garðabær on Thursday. It is fenced off and guarded around the clock, thanks to unfortunate previous experiences.

This is the 12th year IKEA has decorated its store in Iceland with the traditional Scandinavian Yule Goat. During that time, it has become a harbinger of Christmas recognised across the country—not least because of news of its sad demise on several occasions. 

The IKEA goat first appeared in Iceland in the run up to Christmas 2010, but it never saw Christmas. The goat was set fire to on 23rd December. It would be set alight again several years later as well, and one year it caught fire due to faulty Christmas lights. Needless to say, a giant straw goat is rather flammable. 

Another year, the goat succumbed to an out-of-control car, and one year it blew away in a storm. 

The goat erected last week is the third of its kind made for the Icelandic store. 

Birna Magnea Bogadóttir, IKEA sales manager, says the goat is some eight metres tall and weighs a tonne and a half. “So it’s a real lump,” she says. “This goat has thankfully been with us for several years now and we have looked after it well.” 

The goat is protected and under surveillance. “We have set up a fence around it to ensure it won’t be vandalised and so people can’t go all the way up to it. As well as this, IKEA security guards have cameras on it all day and sit in front of it in a car and make sure it is not attacked,” Birna says. 

If anything unfortunate should befall the goat this year, do you have a spare one in storage? 

“No. We do not have a spare,” Birna says. 

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Alexander Elliott
Fréttastofa RÚV