Majorettes in last year's Bermuda Day parade. *File photo
Majorettes in last year's Bermuda Day parade. *File photo

For many, the twenty-fourth of May marks the beginning of summer, when the sun crosses the line and we can officially take to the water. It's a day of fun and relaxation, but for me, the day means more than that. It ushers in the colours, sights and sounds of our beautiful island home - Bermuda.

From the much anticipated Bermuda Day Parade as people line the streets to watch the runners in the annual Derby or seeing the colourful floats and outfits of our marching bands and majorettes; to hearing the familiar sound of Gombey drums, to picnics on the beach and boats jetting across our beautiful turquoise waters; to feeling the warm embrace of a friend or family member as we reconnect with one another throughout the day or experiencing the undeniable smile of someone biting into freshly fried fish. It's a day full of fun.

Since its inception, the May 24th holiday has undergone a number of changes. It first became a public holiday to celebrate Queen Victoria's Birthday. It then went on to become 'Empire Day' and later Commonwealth Day. It wasn't until the period of civil unrest in the 1970's when Lord Pitt recommended that the day be adapted to promote interracial harmony: that the May 24th holiday was renamed Bermuda Day to celebrate our diverse heritage. That diversity is no longer what divides us, but more than ever, it's what binds us together as one people, enjoying the traditions, culture and heritage that the day brings.

However you choose to celebrate it, I invite you to embrace the welcoming colours, sights and sounds that make us uniquely Bermudian. Enjoy the beauty of our Island, but most of all enjoy one another.

Happy Bermuda Day!

The Hon. L. Craig Cannonier, JP, MP

Premier of Bermuda