Saint Sebastian is commonly depicted as being shot with arrows, but in one Spanish village it is turnips that are used as weapons on the saint's feast day. Every year, in Piornal, Caceres province, western Spain, villagers throw turnips at a man dressed up as a devil-like creature known as a 'Jarramplas'.

This year, the honour of being pelted with turnips fell to local man Armando Vicente Vicente, 30. He donned protective gear under a costume covered in multi-coloured ribbons and a horned fibreglass mask, and then made his way through the streets of the village playing a drum. Crowds chased him through the street, throwing turnips at him and trying to knock him off his feet. The protective gear must have come in handy, as thousands turnips are thrown at the Jarramplas during the annual festival.

Piornal Jarramplas
Stewards dress Armando Vicente Vicente as the Jarramplas before he makes his way through the streets beating his drumPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
Armando Vicente Vicente, 30, puts on protective gear under his costume as he gets dressed as JarramplasSusana Vera/Reuters
Piornal Jarramplas
Revellers throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets of Piornal while beating his drumSusana Vera/Reuters
Piornal Jarramplas
A man holds turnips to throw at the JarramplasPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
Revellers throw turnips at the character wearing a devil-like mask and a colourful costumeSusana Vera/Reuters
Piornal Jarramplas
People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he makes his way through the streets beating his drumPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
People throw turnips at the Jarramplas as he stands in front of a figure representing the JarramplasPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
A man takes cover on the top of a cross during the Jarramplas FestivalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
People take cover behind a net as others throw turnips at the JarramplasPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
People protect themselves from revellers throwing turnips at the JarramplasSusana Vera/Reuters
Piornal Jarramplas
A drawing of the Jarramplas is seen on a wall during the traditional festival in PiornalSusana Vera/Reuters
Piornal Jarramplas
Women and children in traditional attire take part in a mass in a church in PiornalSusana Vera/Reuters
Piornal Jarramplas
A boy dressed as Jarramplas looks at a girl while women sing during mass at a church in PiornalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
A boy dressed as Jarramplas kisses a figure of Saint SebastianPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
People carry a figure of Saint Sebastian back to the church in PiornalPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
Stewards lift and cheer on Armando Vicente Vicente 30, while he takes a break from being the JarramplasPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
Armando Vicente Vicente and his sister Laura take the figure of Saint Sebastian back to the altar at the churchPablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
Piornal Jarramplas
Turnips are seen next to boarded-up houses during the Jarramplas festivalSusana Vera/Reuters

The exact origins of the festival are not known, but various theories exist. Some believe it can be linked to the mythological punishment of Caco by Hercules; others think it is related to ceremonies celebrated by the American Indians that were seen by the first conquerors; while others prefer a theory about a cattle thief being ridiculed and expelled by his village neighbours.

However the tradition was started, it is generally believed to symbolise the expulsion of everything bad.