Spanish town celebrates bizarre, turnip-throwing festival

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Spain turnip-throwing festival, Jarramplas
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Spanish town celebrates bizarre, turnip-throwing festival
People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. The Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
AP10ThingsToSee - People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
In this Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 picture people throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People gather under a net to prevent get hit while others throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People hide behind a tree while others throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drum during the Jarramplas Festival in Piornal, Spain, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. Jarramplas is a character that wears a costume made from colorful strips of fabric, and a devil-like mask and beats a drum through the streets of Piornal while residents throw turnips as a punishment for stealing cattle. The exact origin of the festival are not known, various theories exist from the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules, to a cattle thief ridiculed and expelled by his neighbors. Jarramplas Festival takes place every year from the 19th till the 20th of January on Saint Sebastian Day. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)
People throw turnips to Jarramplas as he walks the streets of the Spanish village of Piornal playing a drum, during the Jarramplas' Festival on January 20, 2015. The origins of the tradition, that takes place every year on 19th and 20th January during the San Sebastian festivities, are uncertain but the old folk of Piornal tell that Jarramplas was a cattle thief who villagers got their revenge on one day by flinging loads of vegetables at him. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
People throw turnips to Jarramplas as he walks the streets of the Spanish village of Piornal playing a drum, during the Jarramplas' Festival on January 20, 2015. The origins of the tradition, that takes place every year on 19th and 20th January during the San Sebastian festivities, are uncertain but the old folk of Piornal tell that Jarramplas was a cattle thief who villagers got their revenge on one day by flinging loads of vegetables at him. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
People throw turnips to Jarramplas as he walks the streets of the Spanish village of Piornal playing a drum, during the Jarramplas' Festival on January 20, 2015. The origins of the tradition, that takes place every year on 19th and 20th January during the San Sebastian festivities, are uncertain but the old folk of Piornal tell that Jarramplas was a cattle thief who villagers got their revenge on one day by flinging loads of vegetables at him. AFP PHOTO/ PEDRO ARMESTRE (Photo credit should read PEDRO ARMESTRE/AFP/Getty Images)
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PIORNAL, Spain (AP) — Hundreds of people are running through the streets of a tiny town in southwestern Spain, chasing a fancy-dressed, beast-like figure and pelting it with turnips.

The event is part of the bizarre 'Jarramplas' festival which is held in Piornal each Jan 19-20.

Following the yearly tradition, a town volunteer on Wednesday donned a costume of multicolored ribbons and a protective devilish mask with horns. He then charged through the streets, beating a drum and will continue for as long as he can stand the punishment.

Local farmers supplied some 18 tons of turnips for the festival. Its origins are uncertain but the local tourism office says the 'Jarramplas' figure represents a cattle thief. Others say it has religious roots.

The festival finishes later Wednesday with musical and gastronomic celebrations.

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