Christmas on the beach, Gombey dancers and a lighted boat parade: the holidays in Bermuda are a blend of European traditions and island culture, all under a warm sun. Here's how locals from each of the island's three main regions enjoy the holidays in their own way.
Celebrating Christmas in the East End
Bermuda’s former capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Town of St. George celebrates the season with the Bermuda National Trust Christmas Walkabout on the first Friday in December. Several historic homes open their doors to the public, showing off lavish seasonal décor. Enjoy historical reenactments, classic carrolling, foaming snow machines and rum-spiked egg nog. Wander through the magical, light-filled Somers Garden, pick up original Bermuda-made gifts and catch music and dance displays in King’s Square at this signature holiday event.
The Old Town also puts on a Christmas Boat Parade where dozens of boats decorated with brilliant lights cruise through the harbour.
Dive deeper into Bermuda’s history at Carter House, one of Bermuda’s oldest homes, constructed back in the 1640s. Its annual Carter House Family Christmas celebration on St. David’s Island offers festive food in an atmosphere decked out in fascinating period décor, with Father Christmas bringing sacks of gifts in a wheelbarrow.
On Christmas Eve, experience the hushed majesty of a candlelight service at St. Peter’s Church in the Town of St. George. Originally built in 1612, it’s the oldest Anglican church in the Western Hemisphere.
Festivities in Central Bermuda
In the City of Hamilton, a tree-lighting ceremony outside City Hall ushers in the season. Then thousands turn out to welcome Jolly Old St. Nick at the Santa Claus Parade. Themed floats, dancing majorettes and Gombey troupes travel through the capital before he makes his merry appearance.
On Christmas morning, hundreds of locals, ex-pats and visitors gather at Elbow Beach to watch the sunrise, drink Champagne and take a dip in the 68-degree waters.
Holiday Fun in the West End
On Mondays in Royal Naval Dockyard, don’t miss Destination Dockyard, a family-friendly street fair featuring entertainment and locally made crafts. December brings holiday fun to the lineup with a tree-lighting ceremony, Mistletoe Market and Christmas showcase.
Can't get enough holiday fun in Bermuda? Here's a list of all the events taking place out here this season.