Party Hard During Cup Match!
Cup Match is Bermuda's biggest holiday next to Christmas. The festivities comprise of two public holidays that run into a weekend. Emancipation Day, which is always held on the Thursday preceding the first Monday in August, and Somers Day, which is always the Friday preceding the first Monday in August. For most locals who are normally off on weekends this makes up a wonderful, much needed four day weekend.
Cup Match scenes
History of Emancipation Day
On 1 August 1834 the Slavery Abolition Act was passed freeing Bermuda's slaves. That same afternoon a cricket game was held in celebration. Today the game is played between the two prominent local cricket teams - Somerset and St. George's which happens to be the two ends of the island.
Introduction to the game of Cricket
The sport of cricket was first brought to Bermuda by British Army soldiers back in the 1840's. It is a very popular sport amongst British Commonwealth nations. Each year the venue of the game alternates between Somerset Cricket Club and St. George's Cricket Club. The match starts at 10am on both days.
Cricket is the second biggest sport on the island. Although its not as big as it is in Melbourne City,it is still taken equally as serious. Bermuda has a national cricket team that competes internationally at professional levels. Some of the cricket players selected to play Cup Match are also members of the national team.
What do locals do to celebrate this long weekend?
If you were to ask any local what do they intend to do during Cup Match you would get one of several answers, either go to the game, camping, swimming, boating, fishing, simply relaxing or take up a trip abroad.
Cup Match scenes
An electric experience
Attending the Cup Match game is the most electric experience you can endure. The days are usually long, hot and humid, but with the rum swizzles and other alcoholic drinks flowing, calypso, reggae and hip hop music blaring, eccentric fashions, intense socializing that create a carnival atmosphere you will never be bored. It's a great time to let your hair down and enjoy the festivities.
When a batsman scores either 50 runs (half century) or 100 runs (century) fans are allowed to run on to the field to shower him with cash! There is a visitor tent that serves complimentary water, rum swizzle and snacks to island visitors who wish to join in the festivities.
Gambling is the second biggest game
During this time the hosting club will accept tenders for the gambling game Crown & Anchor. These tables draw many people who are feeling lucky!
Cup Match scenes
Bermudians go all out for a camping experience
Camping is very unique to Bermuda and is not uncommon to see the public parks, beaches, and just about any open space dotted with campers. Camping is the second most popular activity that takes place during this time.
One tourist had heard so much about camping in Bermuda during Cup Match that he decided to come to the island for the sole purpose of experiencing this tradition. He left the L.F. Wade International with a tent and a small duffle bag. He pitched his tent on the Kindley Field Park next to some local campers who ended up taking him in and showing him what Bermudian camping is all about.
In the days leading up to the holiday it is not uncommon to see locals marking out their space for camping, which is immediately followed by setting up and preparing for four days of "outside living".
Somer's Day observed on second day
The second day of Cup Match is Somers Day. This day is to observe Sir George Somers who settled the island of Bermuda back in 1609.