If you are in Florence on the 7th September you don’t want to miss this one! It’s called the “Rificolona” – the Festival of Lanterns.
Bright lanterns will light the streets of Florence for an event that kicks off in Piazza Santa Felicità at 8.00pm. At 8.30 pm the procession (complete with bands playing music) will start in Piazza della Signoria, go along Via Calzaiuoli and then enter Piazza San Giovanni. The last stretch is down Via dei Servi and into Piazza Santissima Annunziata.
Originally the procession was to celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mother, Mary. It was the womenfolk that this task fell to, and they came in their droves from the countryside out of town to pay homage, and their brought their old and broken lanterns to light their way which they held out on rods in front of them.
Today many libraries and social centres will gather together some recyled materials to allow kids to make their own lanterns, or they can be purchased from a stationery store. If you are out and about that evening, make sure you have a great lantern with you too!