Seven Fishes

Still catching up with the holiday season. Now it’s the Feast of the Seven Fishes. From Wikipedia:

The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italian: Festa dei sette pesci), also known as The Vigil (Italian: La Vigilia), is a celebration of Christmas Eve with meals of fish and other seafood.

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American Christmas celebration. Today, it is a feast that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. It originates, however, from Southern Italy, where it is known as The Vigil (La Vigilia). However, some Italian-American families have been known to celebrate with nine, eleven or thirteen different seafood dishes. This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.

… The meal’s components may include some combination of anchovies, whiting, lobster, sardines, dried salt cod, smelts, eels, squid, octopus, shrimp, mussels and clams. The menu may also include pastas, vegetables, baked or fried kale patties, baked goods and homemade wine.

Some photographs here.

Note the extension of words for ‘fish’ to seafood in general.

One Response to “Seven Fishes”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    Indeed, I remember ordering an antipasto di pesce in Venice in 1976 or so, and noticing when it came that there wasn’t a single fish in it: all mollusks and crustaceans.

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