Tuesday, July 22, 2008

La Fête Des Lumas

Every year right after the quatorze juillet, our little village holds its annual festival. It's called la fête des lumas, or the snail festival, and it was held this past Sunday. Now I now all you francophiles out there are saying, "but wait, I thought snail was escargot in French."

Part of the flea market that is the core of the snail festival.

You are right, of course. Lumas is a specific species of snail also called the petit gris de Poitou, not to be confused with the classic escargot de Bourgogne. I believe they are both edible. I also believe that it would be difficult to tell the two apart once prepared in the traditional Burgundian style with garlic, butter, and parsely.

Shopping for used vintage clothing.

I have no idea why our village has a snail festival. I've never heard of snails in town except for this festival, and the ones we find in the garden. I suppose one day I'll ask somebody, but it's not a high priority.

Workers setting up the stage and dance floor,
picnic tables and food tents.

Anyway, the festival is mostly a big brocante, or flea market, all day long. There is food and drink available, and a dance floor and stage are built for the evening entertainment. This year's entertainment was a band called Get Back that does Beatles songs and a guy who sang Claude François songs.

The festival takes place adjacent to the village campground, which happens to be on the river in the center of town.

Ken and I didn't go for food or entertainment. We went around eleven a.m. just to wander around and have a look at all the junk for sale. And to be seen by our fellow villagers (we don't go out much). As it happened, we only saw one person we know, and he didn't even notice us. On our way back home, however, we ran into one of our neighbors (who happens to be the mayor) and her husband. So we had a nice chat, and scored points for showing up at a local event.

The river Cher passes the center of town.

As I lay in bed that night, I could hear some very familiar tunes wafting up from the valley below. Get back, Jojo.


  1. Enjoyable outing!

    During the summer, we have similar events periodically in our Toronto Squares. I got many old pocket books at those sales. You can usually buy a piece of homemade pie and iced tea. Sometimes there could be music. Very entertaining and the entrance is free. I don't go much anymore but it was fun walking around with people, looking at artwork and handmade
    beads and rings...It made me feel part of that particular village!

    That's what a city is after all. Small individual villages all clustered around the Center Mall.

  2. Lucky you- you got a whole band singing Beatles songs . Here we had Sir Paul in Quebec city for the 400th anniversary of the city.

    Escargots de Bourgogne -que des bon souvenirs.

  3. Sounds like a good reason to go out and walk around a little. And really, who doesn't love snails. I love that in France they always can find a good reason to have a festival!

  4. claudia, that's exactly what I enjoy about cities. The only problem is that takes years to get to know them well.

    louise, well, having Sir Paul might be worth having ten imitations... or maybe not!

    justin, there is no mollusk too small for a fête!

  5. The Beatles AND Claude Francois?! If only Elvis could have made it...
    Sounds like a great time, good job for getting out there and checking it out. Oh, and LOVE the peach tarte pictures from your last post. I gained a kilo just looking at it!

  6. Aw, I love village festivals! I wish we had more around here...

  7. susan, oh, Elvis would have made it night to remember!

    jennie, each village nearby has it's own, but I don't often venture out to them.

  8. What a lovely day you all had..I wish we had more things here in the UK...

    Link to real snail race...http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2438822/World-Snail-Racing-Championship-won-by-Formula-One-drivers-namesake.html

  9. for some reason, the sight of the little river, jes' keepin' rollin' along, with trees and countryside on both sides, really touches me. great pix, thank you.

  10. ann, thanks for the link!

    pj, you should see it in person. The water is crystal clear. You can see the bottom and fish swimming along.

  11. Delightful post on the snail festival. I am actually a grad student doing research on snails in France, please, please, please email to be in touch. I have some questions about the festival and snails in the town you are living in, generally speaking.


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