Cup Match: Our Tradition
Cup Match is a public holiday introduced in Bermuda after the abolishment of slavery on 1st August 1835. The celebration of emancipation began as men from the west (Somerset), and the east (St. George’s), met for a friendly rivalry cricket match and held various celebrations. It was decided in 1901, by two Friendly Societies that the two teams would play for an annual trophy. Members from the societies raised funds for one-year, and introduced a silver cup in 1902 that would be competed for between both teams, officially forming the Cup Match holiday in Bermuda.
In 1947, Cup Match was introduced officially as a two-day national public holiday in Bermuda. The holiday is celebrated on the Thursday and Friday closets to 1st August. The first day of Cup Match is known as Emancipation day to commemorate the abolition of slavery on the island. The second day is Somers Day in remembrance of the late Admiral Sir George Somers who began the island’s English settlement.
The holiday is celebrated with Bermudians representing their teams through their official colours: red and navy for Somerset, and light blue and dark blue for St. George’s. Although the holiday is based upon the popular two day cricket match, you can find many families camping, boating and swimming as well.
The Cup Match holiday has become an important part of Bermuda’s culture and signifies a time of reflection, celebration and unity.