General

30 tons of radish thrown to ward off evil in Spanish festival

In the Jarramplas Festival, one of the most interesting traditions of the Extremadura region in western Spain, tons of radishes were thrown at a person dressed in armored clothing to represent evil.

The festival, which is held every year on Jan. 19-20 in the town of Piornal with a population of approximately 1,500, is seen as a source of honor for the people of the region.

It is such a great honor for the Piornal people to become the person exposed to the radish rain, traditionally known as jarramplas, applications have already filled up until 2048.

The two teenagers in the town, who are jarramplas this year, said they have waited 15 years for it.

It is believed that the festival, which dates back to the Middle Ages, has its origin in that cattle thieves in the region were punished by throwing vegetables and fruits at them by the people.

As the tradition, which is practised believing that it drives away evil and thieves, jarramplas, who wear an armored costume with colorful feather, are used for the image of evil.

The person wearing the costume is walking around the town center playing the drum, while hundreds of people throw radishes at him.

The Piornal Municipality announced that 30 tons of radishes were distributed to be launched at the festival as part of the two-day events.

Due to the hardness of the radishes, there were also minor injuries during the festival.

- 'Most original' festival

Local journalist Justo Perez summed up the meaning of the festival for the people of the region by saying: "It is a tradition and a pride for us."

Perez said it is not known exactly why it was made, why this costume was chosen, why the radish was cast or the drum played and it continued. "It has a bit of a pagan past, but today is a great source of pride and joy."

He continued: "There are similar festivals in different parts of Spain or in different countries like Bulgaria, but none of them are as original as here."

Celia Rodriguez, a festival participant, said that she began enjoying jarramplas, which she was afraid of in her childhood, each year more and said: "It's the most beautiful festival in the world. At least that's how it is for us. We both relieve of our stress and show our love for jarramplas by throwing radishes."

The festival has been recognized as a tourist attraction event since 2014.

Source: Anadolu Agency