Christmas events in Bermuda
Late November to end December is a wonderful time to visit Bermuda when so many cool activities are scheduled in the island which you can never experience otherwise. The average air temperature during this time hovers around 66.5ºF and the sea temperature around 67.5ºF, and humidity is around 70%.
So weather remains pleasant. Although it may not be ideal for a swim, all public beaches in Bermuda remain open, and lounging on the sand to enjoy the sun can be a great experience. Hotel rates touch the lowest during this period and special packages are offered.
Below are the main attractions in Bermuda during the Christmas period.
1. Christmas Parade
The parade held at Hamilton City marks the beginning of Christmas season in Bermuda. The streets of Hamilton city get lined up with hundreds of islanders as well as visitors who watch the parade performed by bands and many dance groups including Gombeys
. Many colorful floats with their own themes also take part in the parade. Santa Claus in his red attire appears for the first time in the year.
2. Tree Lighting Ceremony
A Tree Lighting Ceremony is held in Hamilton City when the Christmas season begins. Santa Claus makes an appearance in this event and offers photo opportunities with kids. The event is held next to the City Hall and Art Center where a tree is illuminated at around 5:30pm. Following this Santa Claus interacts with kids. Choirs and various bands of the island perform.
A Tree Lighting Ceremony is also held at Royal Naval Dockyard since 2019. It is usually held in the first week of December. Local musicians (such as Bermuda Institute Choir, Northlands Choir, etc) and dancers (such as Warwick Gombeys, Bermuda Dance Academy etc) perform during this event. Kids and families can enjoy food and games as well.
3. Family Christmas Evening at Carter House
An annual Family Christmas Evening is held at Carter House
usually in late November or early December. Carter House is an 18th century small house and one of Bermuda's oldest and located in St. David's. It's now a museum. Both Carter House and replica of an early settlers dwelling on the grounds are decorated in period style. Those days Christmas tree was not available.
The houses are decorated with cedar, palmetto, magnolia leaves, fruits, foliages etc. Fire is lit up at the fireplace and candles are lit to add to the Christmas charm and ambience. Local food and beverages like Bermuda fish chowder, ginger bread, cookies, mulled wine are served. Then children have a fun time as Santa appears with a sack full of gifts. The event is free to all, donation accepted.
4. Christmas Walkabout
Christmas Walkabout organized by Bermuda National Trust in St. George is a highly popular event. The walk passes by several old traditional homes that are decorated for the special occasion, and this is accompanied by live music and performances. Special shopping deals are also offered.
5. Christmas Boat Parade
Another spectacular event which is well attended by tourists is the Christmas Boat Parade
held biennially at the Hamilton Harbor. Number of boats sponsored by different organizations and glamorously decorated with lights and other decorative materials bearing individual themes parade in a circular route on Hamilton harbor. Thousands watch the boat parade from shore and also from harbor-side hotels.
6. Christmas Eve Services at St. Peter's Church
Christmas Eve (December 24) services are offered in various churches across the island. Join the traditional candlelight service of lessons and carol singing in St. Peter's Church
with Their Majesties Choristers for a very special experience. 70 candles are lit during this evening service.
7. Christmas at Elbow Beach
Large number of expatriates living in the island as well as visitors flock to Elbow Beach
on the morning of December 25th to enjoy and celebrate Christmas on one of the best beaches of the island. The celebration is accompanied with music, food and wine. Many islanders toast the sunrise with a champagne and some of them even take a plunge into the cold water.
8. Boxing Day
Boxing Day is celebrated in the island on December 26th. While this is a public holiday and most shops and establishments remain closed, it's a great day to watch the colorful Gombeys' Troupes
perform. They dance down several main streets of the island on this day.
9. New Year's Eve at Kings Square
Kings Square - the town center of St. George is one of the best places in the island to spend the night of December 31 and welcome the new year. The town corporation usually organizes live band and entertainment at the square. This is followed by fireworks and onion dropping (a huge illuminated onion like structure is lowered at Town Hall) to celebrate Bermuda's onion tradition
. Food and drinks are on sale at the square. The event usually starts at 8:30pm.
10. Carols with Dolphins
, located with the Keep fortress in National Museum complex, holds its annual concert during this time. During the event, Carolers sing sounds of the season while Dolphins perform... it's a spectacular sight to watch and a wonderful ambience to enjoy.
Schedule of events
NOTE: Various other adhoc Christmas events take place at different parts of the island including in Royal Naval Dockyard. Visit one of the Visitors Information Centers
in the island in Dockyard, Hamilton or St. George to get to know of such events, their schedules and collect the flyers.
Christmas Parade: November 29, Hamilton City. 5pm.
Tree Lighting Ceremony:
November 27, City Hall, Hamilton. 7pm - 9pm for taking pictures with Santa
December 8, Royal Naval Dockyard. At North Lawn. 6pm - 9pm (Entry: Free)
Christmas Walkabout at St. George: Cancelled
Christmas Boat Parade at St. George's: November 30
Christmas Eve Services at St. Peter's Church: December 24, 9pm.
Christmas at Elbow Beach: December 25, starts at sunrise.
New Year's Eve at Kings Square: December 31, St. George's, 8pm - 1am.
Carols with Dolphin: Dockyard, December 13, 5pm to 6pm.
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