Cecily Travels had the pleasure of joining the local Bermudian’s in the celebration of their Emancipation. Bermuda is the only place in the world with a two day public holiday to play cricket. From Thur-Fri, the entire island closes and the festivities begin.
The first day marks the celebration of Emancipation Day, “the day the Bermudian slaves were freed.” The 2nd day is Somers Day, which commemorates the discovery of Bermuda by British Admiral Sir George Somers in 1609.
Upon Emancipation, the slaves had no homes,schools or jobs. The slaves found themselves homeless and penny-less, thus prompting the former slaves to form themselves into societies and lodges so that they could provide for their well being. Cup-Match was born when two brother lodges played against one another on the Royal Engineers Field in St.George’s. After this exciting game, the two lodges held a meeting and proposed that a Cup be played for annually. June 12, 1902 marks when the first Cup Match was played.
Here is a little history: The first strike was during the match in 1953 by Kenneth Smith of St George’s. The biggest wins were by St George’s who won by innings and 65 runs in 1962, and by innings and 49 runs in 1926. Now the island-wide holiday is used as a time to gather and celebrate with friends and loved ones as Bermudians cheer on their home-grown athletes in their favorite sport.
I found it quite refreshing to have so many people from all walks of life coming together peacefully and exhibiting pride for their parish. Somerset supporters wore blue and red, St George’s supporters wore light blue and dark blue. This is not only a monumental event, but lots of fun for all attendees. If you are a visitor to Bermuda during Cup Match, make sure you bring your ID, as the Department of tourism has a VIP section. You can check out my Cup-Match experience below. I know you will want to come share the fun and special spirit that infuses Bermuda during this time every year. And don’t forget to book your tickets on Jet Blue and arrange for your stay early as the island is very small with approximately 2,000 hotel rooms available.
To view the actual Cup-Match game view this video:
When coming to Bermuda make sure you have a copy of your hotel reservations or the address and telephone number of where you’ll be staying. Customs and Immigrations were the strictest and rudest I’ve encountered in my travels and I’ve traveled through communist countries. Traveling light and alone as a female I experienced profiling as I’ve heard from other female visitors. Even though my initial experience was VERY unpleasant, it’s not a reflection on the rest of Bermudian’s as everyone was so warm and welcoming.
Is there public transportation? Bermuda’s public transportation is easy and convenient.Click this link.
Is there a cost to attend Cup-Match? Yes, Cup-Match is $20. Make sure that you bring your ID. Visitor’s get VIP treatment at this event. There is an area for you to sit, FREE Swizzle “Bermuda’s National Drink,” and other beverages as well as light snacks. All compliments of the Bermuda’s Department of Tourism.
What’s the currency used in Bermuda? BMD, but American money is accepted and you’ll receive american currency back.
How long is the flight? If you’re on the east coast the flight is less than two hours.
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