In which part of Spain does the "Jarramplas" festival take place?
Every year, on the 19th and 20th of January, the inhabitants of Piornal celebrate the festival "Jarramplas". The festival focuses on a male figure, Jarramplas, dressed in colourful clothes and wearing a mask with two horns and a big nose, who goes on a kind of endurance test through the town.
Piornal is a Spanish municipality in the province of Cáceres, Extremadura, a region in the west of Spain, on the border with Portugal. The town is located in the community of Valle del Jerte and has a population of around 1550 people.
The origins of the "Jarramplas" festival are in dispute: there are at least three versions. One claims that Jarramplas was a Christian warrior despised by people for passing during the Muslim domination. An alternative story claims that he was a martyr, killed by the Jews for not denying Christianity. The third, most widely believed, version claims Jarramplas was a devil-like character, who stole and killed cattle of the inhabitants, and was subsequently punished.
Each year a different local is chosen to take on the role of Jarramplas: his mission is to make a tour through the streets of Piornal while playing his tambourine. During his tour, the neighbours, inhabitants and tourists punish him by throwing vegetables at him. Turnips feature strongly in the choice of vegetable. Jarramplas tries to ward off the hits and his goal is to withstand the punishment for as long as possible.