Cup Match Time in Bermuda
Cup Match is one of our biggest celebrations of the year. A two-day cricket match between rival teams, Somerset Cricket Club and St. George's Cricket Club, brings the entire island together in celebration of Emancipation. The event takes place every summer and will be held on August 3 & 4 at St. George's Cricket Club in 2023.
- Beyond the Beach,
- People & Culture
History, Movement & Significance of Cup Match
Cup Match Cricket Festival celebrates Emancipation Day & Mary Prince Day, and is one of most energized, exciting, and significant holiday weekends for the island of Bermuda.
The Fight to Recognize & Celebrate Emancipation Day:
The first day of Cup Match takes place on Emancipation Day, recognizing one of the most monumental events in Bermuda’s history: the abolition of slavery in Bermuda on August 1, 1834.
Following the abolition of slavery, formerly enslaved Bermudians observed this sacred anniversary by holding a coordinated labour strike every August through the 1940s. The holiday was commemorated by spending time with family and friends. Each year, celebrations and traditions grew with people gathering for picnicking, drinking, eating and games. Cricket eventually became a cornerstone of the holiday and the rivalry between St. George’s and Somerset was born.
In the 1940s, Cup Match was officially declared a national holiday by government and continues to be celebrated with pride today.
Mary Prince Day
Emancipation Day is followed by a second public holiday, Mary Prince Day. Mary Prince is a celebrated Abolitionist and National Hero. Her story, "The History of Mary Prince," was the first biographical account of an enslaved woman published in the U.K. and was instrumental in dismantling slavery in the U.K. and its overseas territories, including Bermuda and the Caribbean.
A Weekend of Celebrations
The Rivalry: East vs. West Bermuda
First things first, you have to choose a side. Every year, Somerset, the West End of the island, and St. George's, the East End, face off at Cup Match in a heated but friendly rivalry that runs generations deep.
Somerset supporters wear red and dark 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.
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.
Crown & Anchor
Cricket isn’t the only game played during Cup Match. You can try your luck at Crown & Anchor, a simple dice game that was traditionally played by sailors in the Royal Navy. It’s a fun, easy way to make a little tax-free cash!