Bermuda Day 24 May | Traditions | Parade | Trips

Bermuda Day 24 May

Bermuda Day 24 May | Traditions | Parade | Trips

Bermuda Day is a public holiday in the islands of Bermuda. It is celebrated on the last Friday in May (previously on May 24th or nearest Monday if that fell on a weekend. From 2018, a decision was made to move it permanently to a Friday). Bermuda Day 24 May

Bermuda Day is traditionally the first day of the year that residents will go into the sea. It is also traditionally the first day on which Bermuda shorts are worn as business attire (although in recent years, Bermuda shorts are increasingly worn at any time of the year). Many people also see Bermuda Day as the first day on which they can go out on the water after the winter — consequently there is always a rush to get one’s boat ‘in de water’ before Bermuda Day. Bermuda Day 24 May

Bermuda Day was formerly known as the Empire Day. And was earlier held mainly to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria. It was first celebrated on May 24, 1902 to unite all the British colonies with a common cause of celebrating the Queen’s birthday. However as the colonies became independent, this day was celebrated to mark their own national identity and heritage. In 1958 the Empire Day became known as Commonwealth Day. Bermuda day is a public holiday and is usually held on May 24th every year (from May 2018 it is celebrated on the last Friday of the month). Bermuda Day 24 May
These days for most Bermudians, the day marks the beginning of summer in the island. Bermuda Day is now also known as Heritage Day as it showcases the island’s culture and heritage. Bermuda Day 24 May

Bermuda Day Traditions

To celebrate the holiday, there is a parade in Hamilton, Bermuda, and a road race from the west end of the island into Hamilton. For the first time, in 2015, the race started from St George’s and into Hamilton. These events are popular with spectators, and residents are known to stake out particular sections of the pavements to enable them to watch the runners and the floats. Ways of marking out one’s family’s section can include roping it off (frowned on as people have been hurt walking into them the night before). By marking it off with tape with one’s name on it, or sleeping there overnight. Bermuda Day 24 May

The day was actually celebrated as Bermuda Day for the first time in 1979. And in its current form that included the 13-mile half marathon and the parade. It was started on recommendation of Pitt Commission. The introduction of the marathon was particularly significant in the context of 1977 riots in Bermuda. Because it helped immensely to bring back unity within the racially divided groups through camaraderie. Bermuda Day 24 May

Bermuda Day Half Marathon

The origin of the half marathon however dates back to 1910 when a group of Somerset runners first organized a race around the Great Sound water area. The British military men posted in the island came to know about the race and challenged the locals. The British won the race. This resulted in a fierce competition between the two groups. And the race was re-organized next year by the Somerset runners to restore the pride of the local community. And thus the Half Marathon was born in the island. Bermuda Day 24 May

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