Wyrd Designs

The Yule Goat, Yule Boar and Yule Cat

Today, one of Sweden’s most traditional Yule symbols, is that of the yule buck or yule goat, which features prominently in the tale of Jultomten. In antiquity the common animal sacrifices included horses, cattle, boar, and goats. In Sweden in particular we see goats sacrificed. Once Christianity had taken over, many laws were passed that forbade the sacrificing of animals for ‘pagan rituals’. From this void, we see the real animal, begin to be replaced by a person in a goat costume that becomes a symbolic ritual offering and slaying. The use of costumes or masks for ritual, is not alone, as we also see it in another yuletide festival as previously mentioned with the Goddess Perchta.

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