Hundreds of Mini Colored Paper Lanterns: this is the Feast of “Rificolona” in Florence

The wonderful city of Florence uses to commemorate its ancient folkloristic traditions, and also this year, it will celebrate the original and cheerful feast of Rificolona.

The Rificolona in fact, still today remains the traditional Florentine feast, which is celebrated with a lot of events, shows and parades which take place in all the city districts and which several Florentine citizens and foreigners take part to.

The word “Rificolona” derives from the ancient term “fierucola”, which means “little but important feast”. It dates back to the years before the 20th century, when on every September 7th the farmers living in the surrounding area used to gather and walked with small colored-paper lanterns from Vallombrosa and Impruneta hills towards SS. Annunziata square, in the centre of the city, to pay homage to the Virgin Mary, and also to sell their hand-made products under the loggia with arcades of Spedale degli Innocenti on the occasion of the Fair of Nunziata which took place on the following day.

In case that at dusk the farmers hadn’t arrived yet in the city, they used to light up a little lantern wrapped in paper, held up by a stick, whose name was exactly Rificolona.

Still today, this feast seems to obtain a great success among people, and the protagonists are hundreds of mini multi-color paper lanterns, and if you come in Florence between 6th and 7th September, you will have the chance to marvel at those wonderful piebald lanterns hanging all around the city, hanging down the buildings and palaces windows, in the houses, along the Arno River and on the streets.

So…the feast of the bright colored lanterns will come back on September 6th and 7th 2009 in Florence, and the events’ program schedules the following activities:

6th September: Rificolona in Arno, Parade – Papier-mâchè allegories on boats enlightened by paper lanterns and prize-giving of the most beautiful hand-crafted rificolona.

7th September: Procession from Santa Croce Square to SS. Annunziata Square guided by the prominent bishop.

As usual, on the morning of 7th September (from 10 to 12 a.m.) in Tasso Square at “La stanzina dei Bambini” (“The Children’s Room”) is scheduled the free distribution of rificolone to the children (while stocks last).

And as always, the feast will end with night parades: after the gathering of the rificolone in Santa Croce Square, around 8 p.m., a parade accompanied by music will start and walk through Borgo dei Greci, via dei Gondi, Piazza della Signoria, via de’ Calzaiuoli, Piazza Duomo, via dei Servi and it will arrive to SS. Annunziata Square, where many other shows and performances are scheduled.

Don’t miss this fabulous chance to visit Florence and have a new, different, striking view of the city!

For further information about the city of Florence and other events, please take a look at our website

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