Lantern Festival of Florence – Festa della Rificolona

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The Lantern Festival (or Festa della Rificolona) of Florence is a true family event in the Florentine calendar. The colourful lanterns, lit by candles are carried from Piazza Santa Croce, past the Duomo to Piazza Santissima Annunziata. The centuries-old tradition to celebrate the Festa della Madonna which is tomorrow is continued with modern enthusiasm and the addition of vans selling sweets for young and old alike. Many of the lanterns are traditional with the purple colour of Florence, other less so. Unless “Hello Kitty” has a Florentine history I’m unaware of. Not only do the kids get to carry real fire, they also use blowpipes to try to puncture the lanterns, or take out their mother’s eye depending on how much candy floss/cotton candy they’ve eaten.

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