Dear Foundry Community,
From all of us here at the Foundry, we wish health and happiness for you and your families this Holiday season. We are looking forward to the New Year with hope for brighter days ahead and continuing to welcome more of our users back on site.
All the Best,
Director of the Molecular Foundry
Celebrating the Cultures of Our Community
The Molecular Foundry hosts staff and users from around the world belonging to a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. This year, we’re highlighting Foundry Director Persson’s home country of Sweden.
In our holiday card above, you’ll see a ‘julbock’ or ‘Yule goat’, a common sight in Scandinavian and Northern European Yule celebrations. Its origins date back centuries to ancient Pagan festivals. A popular theory is that the celebration of the goat is connected to worship of the Norse god Thor, who rode the sky in a chariot drawn by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr. Additionally, the last sheaf of grain bundled in the harvest was credited with magical properties as the spirit of the harvest and saved for the Yule celebrations, called among other things Yule goat (Julbocken).
During the 19th century the Yule goat’s role all over Scandinavia shifted towards becoming the Christmas gift-bringer, with one of the men in the family dressing up as the Yule goat. The goat was then replaced by the jultomte (Father Christmas/Santa Claus) or julenisse during the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century. The modern version of the Yule goat figure is a decorative goat made out of straw and bound with red ribbons, a popular ornament often found under or on the Christmas tree.
Check out our past multicultural celebrations: