The biggest event in Sandys happens every other year—at Cup Match. Bermuda’s favorite public holiday is held the last Thursday and Friday of July or the first Thursday and Friday in August to celebrate Emancipation Day, marking the freedom of Bermuda’s slaves, followed by Somers Day, in honor of island founder, Sir George. With the weekend tacked on, Cup Match makes for a four-day extravaganza loosely revolving around a historic and hotly contested cricket match.
For over a century, St. George’s and Somerset Cricket Clubs have battled for victory—and major bragging rights—in a two-day tournament that draws thousands of spectators to either end of the island (teams alternate years playing host). But Cup Match is so much more than cricket.
Many attend the game at Somerset Cricket Club (6 Cricket Ln., tel. 441/234-0327), whose team colors are red and navy, or St. George’s Cricket Club (navy and baby blue) simply to socialize with friends and family or feast on the piles of homemade treats—mussel pie, fish sandwiches, peas ’n’ rice—sold from stalls dotting the ground. Others come to try their luck at Crown & Anchor, an old British Navy dice game, during the only two days of legalized public gambling the government permits.
The weekend presents a who’s who of Bermuda, and a slice of true island life, making it imperative to experience if you’re vacationing here at that time.
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition