The Holiday Season Gets an Island Twist in 2018
Gorgeous weather, pink-sand beaches, outdoor adventure and a welcoming island vibe … there are plenty of reasons to come to Bermuda in December. But that’s not all. Out here, the holidays are as merry as they come, from a New Year’s Onion Drop in a decked-out, colonial-era town to Boxing Day wrapped in the beat of the gombey drum. Below, check out 12 (non-consecutive) days – and nights – of holiday joy, all with a Bermuda twist.
November 23-24: Christmas Tree Lighting Celebrations
The City of Hamilton is all aglow from Nov. 23 when the lights are switched on by the mayor while adorable school children sing classic carols. On the following night, the historic Town of St. George celebrates its Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. King’s Square, the narrow cobblestoned streets and stone architecture become a luminous spectacle, filled with Christmas cheer and delight for all ages.
November 26: The Big Man In The Red Suit (And Bermuda Shorts) Arrives
Santa comes to town for the annual Hamilton Christmas Parade, sporting his snow-white beard, red hat and Bermuda shorts, of course. Thousands line the City of Hamilton streets to welcome Jolly Old St. Nick and enjoy Christmas-themed floats, dancing majorettes and Gombey troupes as they parade down the streets of Hamilton.
December 2-5: Golfing for Goodwill
While many east coast golf courses are closed for the season, Bermuda keeps on swinging year-round. Every December, the island’s best courses host the Bermuda Goodwill Golf Tournament, the oldest Pro-Am tournament in the world, with teams from the U.S., Canada and England all participating against gorgeous coastal backdrops.
December 7: A Holiday Tradition with History
The Town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site lined with historic buildings, gets into the holiday spirit during the Bermuda National Trust’s annual St. George Christmas Walkabout. Listed homes are lavishly decorated for the season and open to the public for classic cooking, eggnog and mulled wine. Catch historical reenactments in the candlelit streets as the sounds of classic carols fill the air.
December 8: Hamilton’s Sparkling Boat Parade
The holidays get a lot merrier (and a lot brighter) when dozens of boats decorated with brilliant lights cruise around Hamilton Harbour.
December 10: An Early Settler’s Yuletide
The Carter House on St. David’s Island is one of Bermuda’s oldest houses, first constructed back in the 1640s. For the house’s holiday celebration, it will be decked out in fascinating period décor, both inside and out. Father Christmas will be stopping by as well!
Fridays in December: Late-Night Shopping in Hamilton
The pastel-coloured shops of Hamilton stay open late on Fridays in December – just the thing for last-minute holiday shopping. If you’re looking for only-in-Bermuda gifts to put under the tree this year, then you can’t go wrong.
December 24: Silent Night
Bermuda is home to many historic churches, so you’ll have your pick if you want to celebrate the season in a sacred space. For an especially atmospheric service, experience the hushed majesty of Christmas Eve by candlelight at St. Peter’s Church, Bermuda’s oldest house of worship, originally built in 1612.
December 25: Christmas Day on the Beach
Never mind a White Christmas… Have a pink Christmas this year. Every December 25, hundreds of residents and visitors gather on the pink-sand shores of Elbow Beach for a festive Bermuda holiday celebration complete with champagne, food, music and good vibes. If you’re feeling more naughty than nice, send a selfie back to your friends freezing at home!
December 26: The Boxing Day Beat
The holidays in Bermuda are big for the Gombeys, the troupes of colourful dancers that have been a tradition on the island since the 1800s. On Boxing Day (a public holiday on December 26) and New Year’s Day, the streets transform into a stage with people dancing to the infectious sound of goatskin drums, beer bottle fifes and tin whistles.
December 31: Ring in The New Year With An Onion Drop
Ring in the New Year in St. George’s. King’s Square will be filled with local food, live entertainment and of course, the famous onion drop. That’s right, New York City has the apple drop; Bermuda has the onion drop!
A look at Bermuda’s holiday festivities and cheer can be enjoyed via this video.
Out here is closer than you think. Located in the Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina’s coast, the island of Bermuda is just a two-hour nonstop flight from most eastern U.S. airports. Attracting adventure seekers, explorers, romantic and originals, Bermuda is where people, cultures and an alluring mystique swirl together, connecting visitors to a place far from everyday life. The island’s legendary pink-sand beaches, frozen in time historic towns and pastel-colored buildings stand out at first. But it’s Bermuda’s original, ever evolving take on island life that brings travelers out here again and again. The Bermuda experience is elegant, relaxed and genuinely warm, celebrating cultures, reveling in nature and staying open to whatever is around the bend. Recently, the 35th America’s Cup, held in Bermuda May and June of 2017, brought a fresh energy to the destination with new and redeveloped hotels, must-visit attractions and restaurants adding to the island spirt. Visit www.gotobermuda.com, www.facebook.com/bermudatourism, and www.twitter.com/bermuda.
Bermuda Tourism Authority
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