Light them up

The biggest private collection of Christmas lights and decorations on the island was lit up last night, producing a dazzling display of colour.

Two homes in the village of Kiti, in the Larnaca district, Cyprus, have been decked out with 36,000 different decorations, including 10,000 lights.

Among the highlights of the collection is an aeroplane coming in to land on an illuminated landing strip over a swimming pool, and a huge mechanical snowman blowing out snow. There is also a 12-foot Father Christmas as well as a huge illuminated crib.

Britons Peter Holman and Valerie Loughrey are the two people who have decorated their homes on Mykonos Street, with Holman yesterday saying he had shipped the collection, valued at £5,000, to Cyprus three years ago when he moved to the island from Milton Keynes.

“At the front of my property, there is a box where people can leave donations,” he said. “The money raised will be used to help the local elementary school and the community in general.”

The 65-year-old explained that he has been decorating his home ever since he moved here, carrying on the tradition he began back in the UK six years ago.

“Word has spread and for the last couple of years, coaches carrying people from Larnaca Airport have been making detours to see the houses,” he said.

The lights, which took ten days to put up, will be coming down on January 6. Until then, they will be switched on daily between 5 and 11pm. They run on 40 12-volt transformers.

When asked about the electricity bill, Holman chuckled. “It’s actually not too bad,” he responded. “Last year cost me £78, but I expect to pay a little more this time.”