Festa della Rificolona 2023 will take place on Thursday, September 7, 2023, in the beautiful city of Florence.
Festa della Rificolona (Festival of the Paper Lanterns) is an event from the Florentine popular folklore, held every year on September 7, on the eve of the Nativity of Mary. On this occasion, young people of Florence wind along the streets of the city, carrying around colored paper lanterns.
The origins of the festival date back to the middle of the 17th century, and is due to the arrival in the city of many peasants from the nearby countryside to celebrate the Nativity of the Madonna in the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata.
The farmers also came to Florence to sell their products at the fair held on September 8 in the square in front of the basilica. To arrive on time, they left their homes before the break of dawn, and lit their way with lanterns of various shapes hanging on rods.
After entering the city, the young Florentine people accompanied the villagers, making fun of their clothes, joking about the shapes of their women and trying to destroy their lanterns with spit wads.
As time went on, the Florentines started to build their own lanterns from colorful thin paper, and to use blowpipes to damage the lanterns of others.
Over time, the word fierucola (rural markets) was corrupted, and transformed into rificolona, which was used to describe an overdressed woman.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
On the evening of September 7, Piazza della Santissima Annunziata becomes the meeting point for various parades arriving from different points in the city.
The most important parade starts in Impruneta, a village outside Florence, passes through Piazza Santa Felicita, Piazza della Signoria and Piazza San Giovanni, and reaches Piazza della Santissima Annunziata around 9.30 pm, where the blessing of the Rificolona takes place.
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