Ona ona ona ma che bella rificolona
Florence is home to a load of festivals and holidays, some more exciting than others. One of the more exciting and more unique festivals is the Rificolona or lantern festival. Here is a little outline of the festival!
Origin: Now nothing more than a children’s holiday, the festival originates from the countryside around Florence. Once a year the country folk, in particular farmers, would make pilgrimages during the beginning of September to the church of Santissma Annunziata for the estimated birthday of the Virgin Mary. Hordes would come from the countryside the night before…as daytime was prime farming time…you can’t waste sunlight…and they would do so with colorful lanterns. The procession would come from lands faraway…like the Casentino! Well, when you don’t have a car…that is far! During the night they would sleep underneath the porches in Piazza Santissma Annunziata, much like the homeless people today… After their religious site seeing was over, they would set up market stalls in the Piazza and along the via dei Servi. This was another reason they would come the day before…as they wanted to get a prime spot to set up their booths. They would sell cheeses, mushrooms, fabrics, and other traditional products from the countryside. At dusk all would gather round and sing hymns to the virgin Mary!
The Holiday today: Every 7th of September after 8:00pm the procession with start along via dei Servi to the Annunziata. Children will have colorful lanterns, many times home made in various shapes and sizes. Some will have candles inside…other a battery operated light. To my annoyance, most children will also have tubes where they spit out wads of clay which will bust, and often catch the other lanterns on fire. There is also a market out in front of the church. Many childrens’ organizations will have workshops so children may construct their own lantern.
Events this year for the holiday:
3-4-5 September 4pm 7pm Scuola Elementare Diaz in Via Madonna delle Grazie 172
4-5-6 September 4pm-7pm Circolo via Nuove Viale Gianotti 13 and then their is a party the 7 September starting at 7:00 pm with food stands, and a band starting after 9:00 pm.
6 September in Le Cure area at dusk- –Piazza le Cure and surrounding streets!
7 September: Official celebration in Piazza Santissma Annunziata 8:00pm-at 9:30 pm they will have a small ceremony and will give prices to the best home made lanterns.
7 September- At the Giardino il Lastrico del Popolo di Legnaia in via Pisana around 8:30pm they will have a small party in the street with lanterns.
8 September- They will have a small parade of boats in the Arno river. The boats will be lit. Time unknown