Florentine traditions: the Rificolona Festival
Florentines, tourists, and passersby, on the evening of 7 September, are ready to witness one of the oldest and most evocative Florentine traditions: the Rificolona festival (which here is called Rifìholòna).
A little history of Florence
Since the seventeenth century, it has been said that pilgrims came down from neighboring countries to Florence in Piazza Della Santissima Annunziata to watch over and wait for the opening of the Sanctuary on 8 September, the feast of the Nativity of Mary.
On the day of the festival, the square was filled with people, and merchants sold handmade products and food. During the journey at night, pilgrims lit small lanterns made chiefly of paper, called in slang "rificolone."
How the tradition has evolved
Over the years, the tradition has become more festive, and the Florentines, together with their children, celebrate crafting paper lanterns. But, as usual, for a competitive city like Florence, there's a not-so-covert contest for the most beautiful and intricately detailed rificolona!
The lanterns are then lit in the square.
In recent years the Compagnia Della Rificolona has renewed the ancient tradition. A beautiful pilgrimage takes place from Impruneta to the center of Florence, creating an engaging evening for the young and old alike.
Are you not from Florence and want to join the festival? Here's what to know.
It is imperative to sing the classical song "Ona ona ona ma che bella rificolona" while partecipating at the festivites. The tune is catchy, so it will be easy to follow the flow!
Be wary of buying lanterns for your children to join the party: it's customary for the ever-so-welcoming florentine to pierce and burn rificolone with blowguns darts while joking and ridiculing the victim of the prank.
The festival is also one of the rarest chances to visit Santissima Annunziata and its cloister in the evening. So don't miss this opportunity!
Good Rifiholona to everyone!
The history of Biscioni Gioielli started in 1871, and it's a tale about tradition and craftsmanship, intertwined to form a design whose contours are the same as the Florence skyline.
In a market-oriented foreign production, Biscioni Gioielli still crafts its jewels in its artisan workshop on Ponte Vecchio, faithful to its Italian excellence roots.
Jewels are the opportunity to hold a dream in your hands, wear it, and recognize it in the admiring gaze of those who see it—a hidden yet full of meanings treasure.