Bermudians take cricket seriously, and they’re not alone. Even though it’s not as well known in the U.S., cricket is the second-most popular sport in the world, with 120 million people playing all over the globe. Cup Match is a great opportunity to fall in love with cricket (if you haven't already).
It all began back in 1901, when two “Friendly Societies” began competing for a silver cup. The match became so important to Bermudians that it was made a public holiday in the 1940s.
The highly anticipated game is played over two days as teams from Somerset, the West End of the island, and St. George's, the East End, face off. Somerset supporters wear red and blue while St. George’s supporters sport dark blue and light blue. The Cup Match Venue alternates annually between Somerset Cricket Club in Sandy’s Parish and St. George’s Cricket Club, Wellington Slip Road, St. George’s.
The match is important, of course – but Cup Match is about more than just cricket. Emancipation Day coincides with the first day of Cup Match, giving locals and visitors a chance to recognize one of the most significant moments in Bermuda’s history: the abolition of enslavement on the island on August 1,1834.
Emancipation Day is followed by a second public holiday, Mary Prince Day, named after a once enslaved Bermudian who became a hero of the abolitionist movement in Britain.
Cup Match Parties & Events
It’s all about celebration during Cup Match Weekend, with a bit of quirkiness thrown in for good measure. Local Cuisine is an integral part of the festival atmosphere. Try fried fish, conch, mussel and beef pies. Families deck out their “camps” on the match grounds. Each carries a feeling of its own – an infectious, unforgettable festival spirit – if you’re lucky enough to be invited inside. At the game, fashions are coordinated around team colours – red and dark blue for Somerset, light blue and dark blue for St. George’s.