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Sunday, December 23, 2018

Feast of Seven Fish

Many Italian families will celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes which takes place on Christmas Eve. For the celebration a variety of seafood and frying fish would be served.

The tradition dates back to Southern Italy many years ago. Christmas day is met with a massive meal so on the night before or what we refer to as Christmas eve but is also known as La Vigilia or "Vigil" a lighter meal is called for. This meal will vary from region to region but eating fish on the night of the "Vigil" is a Roman Catholic custom There are many theories that may explain the reasoning behind The Feast of the Seven Fishes.

  • 7 sacraments in the Roman Catholic church
  • 7 is the number that appears most frequently in the bible
  • 7 is the number of days it took to create the earth
  • 7 is the number of deadly sins
  • 7 represents perfection
  • 7 hills surround the city of Rome
Variations on the 7 fishes them are dinners served on Christmas Eve that have more or less courses. At times there are 9 courses as the Holy Trinity is taken times 3. Perhaps you will be dining on 10 courses for the 10 stations of the cross. Even another variation would be 13 fishes to represent the 12 apostles and Jesus. Therefore whether you serve a meal of many courses or one pot of stew that contains a variety of seafood the meal is still served on Christmas Eve. 

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