Sicilian Feast of the Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve

A few years in the past our household adopted the custom of the Feast of Seven Fishes for our Christmas Eve vacation feast. It’s actually modified over time, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a fun family tradition we love doing. Should you’re questioning what meals to make for Christmas Eve dinner, give this a strive!

And sure … there actually are seven sorts of seafood!

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A Solution to Preserve Custom Alive

I need to move on the very best of our household tradition, traditions, and heritage. For the Italian aspect, this typically means passing on the meals and recipes.

Making an attempt to have a wholesome way of life isn’t about throwing traditions centered round meals out of the window. Removed from it! As a substitute, I’ve modified meatball recipes, pasta recipes, and even Christmas cookie recipes to suit our allergic reactions and dietary wants.

One Italian-American custom particularly was simple and enjoyable to proceed with our household. It’s known as “The Feast of the Seven Fishes” within the US however merely “La Vigilia,” (the vigil)  in southern Italy. Because the identify suggests, this custom actually includes making seven (or extra) sorts of fish on Christmas Eve.

Feast of the Seven Fishes: It’s What’s for Christmas Eve Dinner!

There’s a lot debate as to the historic origin of this custom, although we proceed it merely due to its connection to household. Consuming fish on Christmas Eve traces again to the Roman Catholic custom of abstaining from meat on Fridays and particular Holy Days. Abstaining from meat on Christmas Eve would have signified ready in anticipation of the Christ Youngster’s arrival on Christmas morning.

Through the 19th and 20th centuries, there have been numerous southern Italian immigrants to America (particularly New York). They introduced with them the custom of serving fish dishes on Christmas Eve. Many Italian-American households nonetheless proceed this vacation season custom.

The quantity seven can also be up for debate, as many households serve fewer sorts of fish (and a few function many as 13!). Seven is probably going the most typical quantity due to its robust historic and cultural significance in lots of elements of Europe, together with Italy. In biblical historical past, the quantity seven represents completeness and perfection. There are additionally seven sacraments and 7 lethal sins in Catholic teachings.

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