World ? Europe ? Italy ? Florence

Festival of the Rificolona

View of the Dome from the side
Photo Courtesy Florence Tourism
Sep 2009 (annual)
Hours: 9pm
Cost: Free
Telephone: +39 055 249 17 23
Link: Website
Florence's Rificolona is a traditional festival where children carry lanterns through the streets of the city. There are street performances, parties and a final procession, led by the cardinal, with celebrations lasting into the wee hours of the morning.
One theory about the origins of this event links it to an important market that used to take place at the beginning of September. Peasants that lived far from the city would leave for Florence before dark, carrying candles to light the way, and the whole family would dress up for the occasion. Cruel cityfolk would laugh at their attempts to imitate them, and the children would be allowed to maliciously sneak around with mock lanterns and set fire to those of the unfortunate travellers.
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