ExtramaduraPiornal Jarramplas- Spain's Turnip throwing fiesta19 and 20 January
Every year on 19 and 20 of January in Spain when the weather is not the best in a small village near the mountains of Extramadura, Piornal celebrates one of the best events in Spain a unique celebration, so old that its origin is lost in history. Jarramplas ( the villain- perhaps a cattle thief back in the day) receives a punishing beating from the local villagers when he is frightened away by turnips (nabos) being thrown at him. The chase is carried on through the streets with drums banging and pipes shrilly squeaking.
The first fiesta of Piornal every year takes place on 19 and 20 January are held in honour of San Sebastián . " The Jarramplas "beat the drum through the streets by a constant shower of turnips. At midnight on the 19th are sung Alborás between delicious local food and wines.
Some say this celebration dates back to a mythological origin, in which a thief is punished by Hercules after stealing cattle . It also may date back to a time when sailors returned from South American journeys with tales of ceremonies that the Indians of America celebrated and which they were seen by the first conquerors. But perhaps the most realistic theory and more justified by the past cattle dealers of Piornal, is that at some point a cattle thief was chased away by locals who only had to hand turnips as a weapon.
Since then it has become quite a show with the 'jaramplas' dressed in an outlandish multicoloured costume and an outlandish mask.
Day 19 acts of festejo begin lso. To twelve in the morning, Jarramplas will leave for the first time with all its atuendos. It is the moment at which hundreds of citizens send on the almost Dantesque appearance, a good part of the nabos collected by “fifth”.
To four of afternoon, the unquestionable figure, will have to go to the church, where the butlers will have to dress santo. And to twelve at night, perhaps, the closest moment of the celebration, “alborás”. These are popular songs that are made by the traditional route of the town, in that Jarramplas will be walking of backs.
After “alborás” it is the typical hour of migas, that will extend until through the night. Even so the untiring Jarramplas, to 9 in the morning of day 20, will have to fulfil the passage of Rejoicing.
Later, to twelve, the Greater Mass will take place in the parochial church, with its procession and peculiar “Spiral”, sung by the young women of the town and the auction of you walk them precede when coming out of Jarramplas, the most waited by all.
But not yet the martyrdom” for Jarramplas has finished “. In the evening, it will leave to raise santo the throne, later and last exit, finalizing with the delivery of the clothes to the incoming butler, with invitation of a back on the part of this one to the guests.
The singular celebration calls the attention of experts of all the scopes. Proof of it is the book that appeared yesterday in Cáceres: “Jarramplas: Festive ritual and plots of identity in Piornal”, written by Sebastián Diaz Churches, and that have been published by the Regional Publisher of Extremadura (ERE) within their collection Study.
The author of the book indicated that the work “is not a etnología of the Jarramplas nor an historical investigation”, but that the publication prevails like a work of recovery, investigation, analysis and anthropological reflection on the ancestral festividad.
The advisor of Culture, that went upon presentment of this book, emphasized the figure of the Jarramplas de Piornal like a “sign of identity” of all the frontier dwellers
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