Concourse des villages Iluminees – Christmas lights competition

Last Saturday afternoon, evening, and into the early hours of the morning, we spent time in the Department of Orne. We were part of a coachload of people from Pierreville visiting the Illuminated Villages around the town of Domfront.

This festival/competition has been running for several years now, and the villages taking part decorate for Christmas; some with a theme – animals, and a beautiful Noah’s Ark; the cultivation and use of the pear; marriage; etc.


Others just decorate, with greetings for the season and for the new year.


Most have some sort of religious theme, linked to the festival.


Disappointingly, we were on the coach for 2 of the villages – no chance to take things at our own speed, or to take photos. The others we had a chance to walk around a bit, but were so busy that it was queues all the way. Still, well worth it, even though somebody said it was  “a bit like Blackpool illuminations.”

For more pictures, and pictures of the “Christmas House” at Surtainville from last year, why not pay a visit to our “Guestbook”?

Meilleurs voeux (best wishes) for the holiday season.

Bob and Marjory

Is Christmas good for the environment?

The Christmas lights are going on in every town and village. Christmas markets (Marche de Noel) are being advertised in every commune. We are being encouraged by every shop and supermarket chain to buy more and more lights.


In contrast, the town council of Tourlaville have announced that, in the interests of being more ecologically aware, and environmently friendly, they will not be putting up quite so many lights this year – some streets will not have any, unless the local businesses want to do them. Do I note a slight shift in meaning here? Is it really about the environment? or about saving money? Interestingly, the article in the Presse reporting this did mention a few times how much the town will save by its efforts!

Is there a real environmentally-friendly alternative? We think we might have found one – solar-powered christmas tree lights, spotted in Jardiland some weeks ago. We’ve since looked around the masses of lights for sale in other places; but no solar-powered ones anywhere else. Will they work? it is the darkest time of the year in this hemisphere, though not in the antipodes, and we’ve not seen much sun for a good few weeks now; but solar cells are improving in leaps and bounds.

Perhaps a return trip to Jardiland. We have a 2 metre “christmas tree” in the garden that might look good lit up. We’ll let you know; and maybe also begin to answer the question that is our title today!

Bob and Marjory