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On 7 September the feast of Rificolona returns to Florence

A secular occurrence that fascinates young and old

Friday 7 September the traditional feast of Rificolona in Florence, an event eagerly awaited each year by young and old.

Its origins date back to ancient times when farmers were in the city in the middle of the night using lanterns hanging on top of sticks, to celebrate the birth of the Virgin in the Florentine Basilica of the Annunciation and sell under the porch of the Church their agricultural products.

The feast of Rificolona is an unmissable event for all boys and girls of Florence before the start of the new school year, an anniversary that helps us to greet the end of summer with the right dose of lightheartedness.

Small groups rampaged for centuries "snipers", armed with rudimentary blowguns wrapped in clingfilm and stucco, congregate in the gardens of the city and compete in shooting of lanterns humming a song that everyone knows: "ona ona ona, ma che bella rificolona, la mia l’è co’ fiocchi, la tua l’è co’ pidocchi”.

Laughter, music and shows liven up the streets of several districts of Florence where children gather to celebrate this riotous celebration.


Photo credits:

07 September 2018