parade of Manises
Certainly, two events that you cannot miss during Manises local holidays are the “Festa i Cavalcada de la Ceràmica de Manises”.
These fiestas have been classified as tourist attractions in the Autonomous Community of Valencia and the aim is to go on showcasing its ceramics and all traditions closely related to Manises culture and history.
The “Cavalcada de la Ceràmica” is held on 18 July, on the eve of the local festivities’ main day in honour of Saints Justa and Rufina. It is unique in the world and well worth seeing.
The parade involves a number of floats, from which members of the Clavaría de Santas Justa and Rufina offer residents and visitors thousands of ceramic pieces.
The first record we have of it is from 1900 in Las Provincias newspaper and refers to the event as “a magnificent parade featuring artistic and fanciful carts with allegories of the ceramics industry.”
At that time, it was run by the ceramic factories. Each company was in charge of a cart which was decorated by the workers themselves and which, drawn by horses, took part in a parade highly similar to that of the Battle of the Flowers but dedicated to ceramics in our town.
The floats were filled with “menudet” for gifting. They were miniature pieces, replicas of originals, which the manufacturers always had at hand as gifts for their buyers.
When orders were running low, the workers spent part of their day making these miniatures with a view to ensuring there would always be some pieces to spare.
It was also quite common to hand out “escuraeta” pieces. These were small-scale reproductions of kitchenware for domestic use such as saucers, cups, jugs, dishes, teapots, etc.
The “Cavalcada de la Ceràmica” has evolved over the years. The horses have been replaced by trucks and tractors and carts have been modified to adapt to new safety measures.
The pieces have likewise changed and, nowadays, participants are offered not only “escuraeta” but also other larger pieces. Some of them, such as the Santas plates, are so popular that they have become collection items.
Thousands of pieces are currently handed out and are expressly made by local businesses and craftspeople for this unique and unforgettable festivity.