Thursday, 17 December 2009

Vintage Thingies 50 - Straw Goat

This is my 50th VTT. Suzanne is hosting again, and the links are here.

 

This is a traditional Finnish Christmas ornament, a goat made of straw. My mother-in-law made it for me and
my family in the early 80's, so it can be counted for vintage.

 

What does a goat have to do with Christmas? Long time ago masked young men wearing goat horns and a fur coat went from house to house begging for the last Christmas beer on January 7th, when the Christmas season was over. Their version of trick or treating! At some places they did this also before Christmas, sometimes throwing little gifts through the door and disappearing before being seen.  (This was the beginning of the Father Christmas character as well. His Finnish name is Joulupukki, joulu = Christmas, pukki = goat.) The straw goat is related to this tradition; it was important to see that the straw goat ornament had enough beer to drink. Straw items, like the more Finnish tradition himmeli, are usually referring to good harvest or fertility. The straw goat tradition comes to us from Sweden. There is a giant straw goat every year in Gävle, but it usually gets burned by bad boys before Christmas.

The real Joulupukki's office is here in English, you can follow several links and see tonttu elves at work, Finnish reindeers and arctic landscapes. I hope it will give you Christmas spirits!

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for the visit. These goats are traditional in Sweden as well, weren´t familiar with the history behind it though. Thansk for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You always share such wonderful things new to your readers and what even more wonderful is knowing the history or meaning behind what you share. I'm off to make my tea and visit the link.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very interesting - - - and a goat tradition I had never heard of before!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've learned something new today. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!
    Living it up at Lakewood,
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your post reminded me that I have some Swedish straw ornaments that I haven't seen since I moved more than 15 years ago. I think I'll try to find them because I'm tired of some of the ornaments I have been using since then.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for sharing! I have one in my Xmas tree but didn't know the story behind it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your blog is really so much fun, I love the simplicity of the design. And yet its so profound. So elegant...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow your straw Christmas goat is beautiful and in wonderful condition!

    Thanks for the link (loved the thick snow on the roofs!) and the story of the Christmas goat!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a neat and interesting holiday trimming. I am not familiar with this straw goat, but I really like it. Too, it is something you easily keep.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's a lovely tradition. I loved seeing Santa and the elves. Thank you for showing us something so interesting and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am about to read the link. What a wonderful decoration. I think it was made very well. I had read about the premature burning of the Gavle goat some years.

    Off to read more. :-) Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have seen these before, but I never knew the history behind them! Very interesting, and yours is very beautiful in it's simplicity!
    Happy VTT!
    Carol

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is very interesting...so fun to learn new things...I am going to check the link out now. Have a great VTT!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow I've never knew this tradition good thing we have blogging we share each others tradition and story. Thanks for sharing....


    My VTT-Guitar

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for coming by! Please leave a message.
Kiva kun kävit, kerro minullekin.