The REAL Christmas/Yule Mascot

While many a creature can be associated with the Christmas season (reindeer, polar bears, penguins etc) there is one that may actually deserve the spot as Christmas Mascot more than the others.  

Yes, more than Rudolph. 

That animal is the Goat, or Julbock. The Yule Goat has been dropping off presents during the Holiday season years before Santa. Even before Nativity scenes and Christianity became what we think of with Yuletide traditions.  

The Yule goats origins came from Pagan Scandinavia.  A popular theory is that the celebration of the goat is in connection to the Norse god Thor, who rode through the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats who were named Tanngrisnir and Tanngnj├│str, similar to Santa and his reindeer. 

It's said that in Sweden, people thought the Yule goat was an invisible spirit that would appear some time before Christmas to make sure that the Yule preparations were done right.

The story of the Julbock aren't always merry and bright. 

During the ancient Yule sacrifice festival of Juleoffer, a person would dress up in goat skins and carry a figure of a goat (usually one of Thor's) while they walked to a symbolic slaughter. Of course, a symbolic resurrection followed the slaughter as a way of paying homage to the death and rebirth of the Sun, which is basically what Yule is all about.

Once upon a time, the Julbock would deliver all the presents by himself. Eventually these tales started adding one of my other favorites, GNOMES into the mix. If you've ever met one, you know goats shouldn't be trusted to run around unsupervised with food and trinkets. 

I am usually focused on my Celtic roots, but this is one of the Germanic traditions that I hold dear. 

Have you ever heard of the Yule Goat? Have you made one? Maybe you've seen one but didn't know the symbolism.... 

So when you hear the pitter patter of hooves on your roof... don't assume it's a reindeer. The Jolbock might just have a present for you! 

~As Above, So Below~


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