Daydream Destination: The Félibrée Festival in France's Dordogne

It was the tail end of the summer of 2010, I was with a group staying in the Dordogne for about 10 days. We wanted to check out the Paleolithic paintings at Lascaux caves, but to get tickets you have to stop in the town of Montignac first. We drove there early one cool morning and as we turned onto one of the main streets, a burst of color greeted us.



Bright handmade flowers were strung above the narrow lanes and between buildings. They seemed never-ending, each street we passed by brought new color. It was a wonderful surprise.

Later we found out that Montignac was the host the Félibrée or Felibrejada (in Occitan) Festival that year.The towns of the Dordogne take turns hosting and this was Montignac's fourth time.

The festival occurs on the first Sunday each July. It began in 1903 as a way of celebrating and preserving the Occitan culture with some good old-fashioned traditional costumes, dancing, singing, eating, and drinking.

Something along these lines:

The townspeople are in charge of all the preparations, including making and stringing the flowers. I found a post, La Félibrée,  about the process at a blog called A Year Down the Line.

It would have been nice to come for the festival, but just stumbling on the flowers was enough to make my day and they were a wonderful backdrop to a sleepy riverside lunch.

So if you're ever in the Dordogne at the beginning of July, give the Félibrée a gander.