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Bermuda Cup Match

Shutting down an entire Country since 1902!

Business in Bermuda grinds to a near halt each year in late July for the annual Cup Match Holiday. The tradition of Cup Match in Bermuda dates back more than a century - this year's match is scheduled to take place later this week (July 30-31 2015) and is the 114th contest!

The actual Cup Match is a two day Cricket game featuring a team from the west end (Somerset) against a team from the east end of the Island (St. George's). Each year the venue changes back and forth between home teams with this year's match being held at St. George's Cricket Club.

Cup Match has always been a popular sporting event in Bermuda. Some say that absenteeism from work in the early days of Cup Match became such a problem for the business community that the Government took an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach when making both days official public holidays in the late 1940's.

The first day of Cup Match is celebrated as Emancipation Day - marking the end of slavery. The second day is to mark Somers Day, a holiday in honour of Sir George Somers who captained the Sea Venture ship that ran aground on Bermuda's reefs more than 400 years ago - leading to the settlement of the Island. In fact, the 400 year anniversary of the ship's wreckage and subsequent settlement of Bermuda was celebrated two years ago on July 28, 2009.

Many residents and visitors attend the cricket game each year, many others will be watching on TV or listening on the radio – though the holiday festivities are not limited to simply the game! Other activities during the Cup Match celebrations include: camping, picnicking, legal Crown & Anchor games, live music, parties and other celebrations. Tents are set up around the Island and everyone is generally out to enjoy themselves. Vendors are busy serving up traditional Bermudian foods and there are plenty of beer tents and open patios to enjoy a Dark 'n' Stormy or Rum Swizzle - both of which are considered to be Bermuda's national drinks!

Author: Jason Squires