Friday, January 13, 2006

Holiday Season in Bermuda

Just like most of the world, the holiday season in Bermuda is filled with special events, bright lights and good cheer. The festivities kickoff in early Dec when the Bermuda National Trust hosts their annual Christmas Walkabout in St George. One of the islands most popular events is the Christmas Boat Parade in Hamilton Harbour, which features boats of all sizes decorated with festive lights and decorations, all vying to win one of several categories and the attention of thousands of spectators. In the midst of the celebrating, most homes are decorated inside and out, towns adorn the trunks of palm trees with lights and nearly all have a Christmas tree, most of which are imported from Canada. Eggnog laced with rum is clearly the seasons popular libation, and while each is slightly different and many a secret recipe, all are quite tasty. The shops are filled with traditional British treats - Christmas cakes, mincemeat tarts, Christmas puddings and those fun but noisy Christmas crackers (a small cardboard cylinder covered with decorative paper that holds candy or a party favor and pops when a paper strip is pulled at one or both ends and torn). Most pubs and restaurants are open on Christmas Eve but close on Christmas Day and the following day, which is observed as Boxing Day. When asked about Boxing Day, most people could not tell me much, and according to, its history remains unclear. The islands biggest holiday finale is New Years Eve in St George where Kings Square is alive with people of all ages enjoying live bands, street vendors and just before midnight, the lowering of the onion. Yes, a giant onion sculpture encased in bright lights, instead of the typical big ball. ('Onions’ is the unofficial name for Bermudians and 'Onion patch' is the unofficial name for Bermuda.) Last but not least, the New Year is greeted with an impressive display of fireworks over the harbour. Happy 2006!

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