The Paso de las Rocas is the 2nd of the Corpus Christi day parades, which were celebrated this year on June 14th. Click here to read our post about the first parade, the cabalgata del Convite.
The Rocas are huge wooden floats, some of them dating from the 16th century, which depict Biblical and other religious events important to Valencia and are only brought out during Corpus Christi.
During the parade, 2 horses drag each Roca through the city streets. These things are heavy. While the parade route is downhill (down Calle Bolsería, for example) the horses don’t have any problems. At the parade’s end, though, their luck changes. The final stretch, towards the Archbishop’s palace is uphill.
“That’s no problem!”, thinks the littlest horse, turning towards his larger and stronger buddy. “Together, we can do anything!”
For the final uphill stretch, they unhitch the larger horse and force the smaller one to go it alone. And the onlookers bet on whether or not he’ll make it. As long as one doesn’t belong to PETA or have too strong a view on animal cruelty, it’s awesome. Those little horses — almost ponies — fight, struggle, pull and collapse onto one knee, in their furious efforts to drag the Rocas those final few meters.
Add it to the list of weird Valencian parades. There are more than enough.