On the first Sunday of the year, residents of the Spanish town of Silió take part in La Vijanera festival, marking the beginning of longer days following the winter solstice and representing the triumph of good over evil. It is believed to have originated from pagan rituals of local tribes, although this remains uncertain.

La Vijanera
A man dressed as a 'Trapajon' wearing tree bark poses for a portrait during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

The festival involves roughly 60 characters, all of whom are male. Their costumes represent nature, animals and humans and are made out natural materials that can be found nearby such as tree bark, sheep wool and leaves. Participants also wear bells on their backs to ward off evil spirits that may visit during the New Year. The bells also wake up the land so it can be ready to give prosperous harvest in spring. IBTimesUK presents some of the best photos from the rural fiesta:

La Vijanera
A man dressed as a 'Gorilona' depicting a monkey poses for a portrait during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
A boy dressed as a 'Trapajon' wearing bay leaves poses for a portrait during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
Men dressed as an elderly couple pose for a portrait during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
Men dressed as Civil Guards pose for a portrait during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
A man dressed as a 'Trapajon' depicting a tree poses for a portrait during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
A man dressed as a Zarramaco is seen before the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
A Zarramaco wears big cowbells reading 'La Vijanera Silio' as he parades during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
A man dressed as the Zorrocloco shouts as he parades during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
Men dressed as Zarramacos walk along the forest during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
A boy dressed as a Zarramaco looks on during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
The hunter tries to catch the bear, representing the evil, as they perform during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
The hunter (R), Zarramacos and a Danzarin Blanco (White Dancer) (C) try to catch the bear (on the ground), representing the evil, as they perform during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
La Vijanera
An man dressed as the bear, representing the evil, pretends to be killed by the Zarramacos while they perform during the Vijanera festivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images