RIFICOLONA, A TRADITION THAT LASTS OVER CENTURIES
Like every year, on 7th and 8th September Florence is colored with the feast of Rificolona. Its origin goes back centuries to the Santissima Annunziata feast, when peasants who came down from the mountain of Pistoia and from the Casentino zone were in town to pay homage to the Virgin Mary and took advantage of it to make market. The show was called “fierucola” and “fierucolona”, and from these the today’s word “rificolona”. Rificolona was born as a sacred festival with the procession dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but with time it became a children’s festival that ran through the streets in groups, facing each other with blows of blowguns to burn opponents’ candles.
The origin of the use of the lanterns began in mid-1600 when farmers were left to sleep in the city, settling in the arcades of the square of SS Annunziata and the light of lanterns were singing the praises of the Virgin. By the time the peasants became cause for jokes and teasing by city boys.
This evening are still sung the curious chanting “ona, ona, ona ma che bella rificolona!”, “La mia l’è co’ fiocchi e la tua l’è co’ pidocchi. E l’è più bella la mia di quella della zia…”, echoed in the operetta by Augusto Novelli, “L’acqua cheta” or the other lesser-known chorus“Bello, bello, bello, chi guarda l’è un corbello.”
An ancient festival La Fierucola del Pane was taken since 1984 is held in Piazza SS. Annunziata every first weekend of September. The Fierucola offers organic products, crafts and traditional handicrafts, conventions on biodiversity, a way to defend the typical productions as part of the local culture. As once small farms bring to the streets of their products by enabling citizens to obtain supplies and rediscover the old traditional flavors of the peasant tradition.