Fishes of Christmas Eve
traditional Christmas Eve dinner custom originated in Southern
Italy where Christmas Eve was considered a day of fasting.
evening meal was a feast to break the fast, but no meat
was allowed. Since the fish in Southern Italy is among the
best in the world the seafood feast was the simplest - and
best - substitute.
the number seven was chosen for the number of fish dishes
is a mystery lost to the ages. Some say that it signifies
the days of the week, others the seven winds of Italy.
most accepted version is that there are seven sacraments.
Each of these religious rituals marks a life passage from
birth and marriage through death. The Christmas Eve dinner
sets out seven fish dishes to signify this life cycle on
the night that celebrates the birth of the Saviour.
the reason, anyone who has taken part in one of these feasts
is grateful for the abundance. Seven traditional dishes
shared at a table with family is a wonderful way to begin
the Christmas celebrations.
fish that is served varies with the region - and the family,
but usually includes the traditional seven fish: