A tiny town in southwestern Spain has a unique and violent tradition to bring in the New Year: pelting turnips at one local volunteer until he can’t stand the abuse any longer.
The convenient excuse for this pandemonium is called “Jarramplas,’ a bizarre festival held each January 19 and 20 in Piornal, Spain. This event is only one part of the festival, allowing hundreds of people to run through the streets, turnips in hand, chasing a town volunteer dressed in a costume of colored ribbons and a devilish mask with horns.
The exact origins of this strange tradition are unknown. Some say it has religious roots, but the local tourism office says that this brave volunteer is meant to represent a cattle thief.
ABC News reports that local farmers supplied roughly 18 tons of turnips for the festival, which concluded with more tame celebrations involving food and music.