The festivity of “Jarramplas” takes place every year on January 19th and 20th, in the village of Piornal (Caceres, Spain). A man dressed as a devil with a costume covered in multicolored ribbons and his face hidden behind a conical armor mask with a huge nose, horns and a horse's mane, runs along the streets of the highest village in the Jerte Valley. He plays a small drum while the inhabitants of Piornal throw him turnips as a punishment. The origins of the tradition are uncertain, but legend has it Jarramplas was a cattle thief and when caught, villagers got their revenge on him one day by flinging loads of vegetables at him. There are those who say that this holiday is derived from mythology and the punishment that Hercules inflicted upon Cacus, while others say that Jarramplas was an imported native American tradition. From the Christian era, the belief is that Jarramplas would be Saint Sebastian, a Christian warrior despised by his own companions for having become a spy and for being constantly surrounded by infidels. In any case, the story ends with the death of the saint. Be this as it may, Jarramplas runs along the streets of Piornal every year until he can no longer run any more. Only then does the festivity end, and the harder the route and the longer it lasts, the prouder Jarramplas will be of himself. One of the key points of the festival, aside from when Jarramplas first appears, and when the “turnip shower” is at its heaviest, is when the character reaches the cross, kneels down and bangs his drum as the 12 strokes of midnight ring out from the clock tower. Then, as if arising from the darkness of the night, you can hear the aubades and then the rounds... And the procession continues. The next day, after the celebrations and the mass, the festival comes to an end with an invitation to come and eat "migas". The dish is served with chorizo, cheese, wine, etc. - products provided by the friends of Jarramplas, as offerings presented to the saint over the two days. In order to learn the story first-hand, it's best to experience it yourself: kneel in front of Saint Sebastian, taste the delicious "migas" from the region, throw turnips at the thief, sing aubades... only then you know will kow an inhabitant of Piornal feel on the day of their biggest festivity.
Author: ACEF_CONFEDERACIÓN ESPAÑOLA DE FOTOGRAFIA