Posted by: janamatusz | April 27, 2011

April 27 – St. George’s Peppercorn Ceremony

You’re kidding, right? A Peppercorn Ceremony? What is that?

(the following is from

If you visit Bermuda in late April, make sure to behold one of the islands’ quaintest, oldest traditions, the Peppercorn Ceremony. Complete with costumes and parade, the function held in colonial St. George’s will transport you back in time to 1816. Since then, it has marked the official collection of the yearly rent for the Old State House: one solitary peppercorn. Although a minimal payment, it is enough to bind a contract under British common law.

The 45 minutes of pageantry, held with much pomp and circumstance, begins with the gathering of the Bermuda Regiment on King’s Square. Bermuda’s premier, St. George’s mayor and other dignitaries arrive in full regalia, joining a large congregation amidst the town crier’s bellowing and bell ringing.

A 17-gun salute announces the grand entrance of the governor and his wife in a horse-drawn carriage. Then his excellency inspects the military guard of honour, while the Bermuda Regiment’s Band & Corps of Drums plays. The grand finale is the rendering of the symbolic peppercorn, presented on a velvet cushion laid out on a silver platter.


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