Why do Italian eat fish on Christmas Eve?

The eating of fish on Christmas Eve is a Catholic tradition. … Christmas Eve being one of the designated days on which to abstain, most good Catholics would eat fish, typically cooked in oil. In southern Italy and Sicily, fish is extremely abundant, which may explain why so much of it was added to Christmas Eve dinner.

Why do Italians eat only fish on Christmas Eve?

The ancient tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic custom of abstinence from meat and dairy products on the eve of certain holidays, including Christmas.

What is the significance of the 7 Fishes on Christmas Eve?

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, or “Festa dei Sette Pesci”, is a Christmas Eve tradition in many Italian households. Most popular in Southern Italy and in Italian-American homes, this Christmas Eve feast stems from Catholics abstaining from meat in commemoration of waiting for the birth of baby Jesus.

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Which countries eat fish on Christmas Eve?

‘Celebrate with food’

Returning to Europe, fish is also the main festive focus in Italy and Portugal, where like Poland, the main Christmas meal is held on Christmas Eve. For the Portuguese, it has to be salt cod, which requires soaking in fresh water for a few days before it can be cooked.

What is seven fish dinner on Christmas Eve?

This Christmas Eve, invite friends and family to celebrate one of the most iconic Italian-American traditions around. The Feast of the Seven Fishes—also known as Festa dei Sette Pesci or La Vigilia—is a huge dinner that features seven courses of fish and seafood dishes, plus a classic Italian dessert.

What is the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner?

In Italy, Christmas Eve dinner is traditionally lighter with no meat and a lot of seafood, while the Italian-American meal has evolved into much more of a feast. Bring on the sword fish, tuna, salmon, octopus salad, smelts, calamari, spaghetti with clam sauce and the famous Italian classic—salted cod, known as baccalà.

Why do polish not eat meat on Christmas Eve?

Traditionally it was day of fasting and abstinence (not eating anything) and meat is not normally allowed to be eaten in any form. Christmas Eve is known as Wigilia (pronounced vee-GHEE-lee-uh). … The meal is traditionally meat free, this is to remember the animals who took take of the baby Jesus in the manger.

What are the 7 fishes Christmas Eve Italian?

Typical “fishes” include baccalà (salt cod), frutti di mare (shellfish), capitone (eel), calamari (squid), scungilli (conch meat) and vongole (clams). Fried vegetables are also a popular accompaniment to the fish; expect fried artichokes, pickled vegetables, fried squash blossoms, and other treats.

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What’s good for Christmas Eve dinner?

45 Christmas Eve Dinner Ideas That Take One Hour or Less

  • Cacio e Pepe (20 minutes) …
  • One-Pan Roasted Salmon with Potatoes and Romaine (40 minutes) …
  • Three-Cheese Mac and Cheese (30 minutes) …
  • Alison Roman’s Swordfish with Crushed Olives and Oregano (30 minutes) …
  • Goat Cheese Pasta with Spinach and Artichokes (25 minutes)


What is the origin of the 7 fishes?

The History Of The Feast Of The Seven Fishes

The origin of the Feast can be traced back to southern Italy, the area that is surrounded by such bountiful coastline that seafood has been a massive part of the population’s diet for generations.

What is Christmas Eve dinner called?

Christmas Eve dinner, also known as Wigilia, starts when the first star appears in the sky. Nothing is to be eaten until all members of the family have broken the Christmas wafers (opłatek) together and exchanged wishes for good health and prosperity. During the meal, all of the guests should taste a bit of everything.

Who has fish at Christmas?

The Italian Christmas Eve tradition known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a beloved part of the holiday season for many Italian American households, as well as in some areas of Italy.

What do the Polish eat on Christmas Eve?

Carp provides a main component of the Christmas Eve meal across Poland; carp fillet, carp in aspic and gefilte fish. Universal Polish Christmas foods are pierogi as well as some herring dishes, and for dessert, makowiec or noodles with poppy seed.

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What is usually served for Christmas dinner?

Traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham are also used. For dessert, pumpkin or apple pie, raisin pudding, Christmas pudding, or fruitcake are staples.

What are common traditions in Italy?

Here are eight for your list:

  • Epiphany and La Befana. Throughout Florence, it is tradition for an old woman to deliver gifts to children on Epiphany Eve. …
  • Carnevale. …
  • Florentine New Year. …
  • Scoppio del Carro. …
  • Patron Saint Feast Day. …
  • Notte Bianca. …
  • Festa della Rificolana. …
  • Republic Day.


Is Christmas Eve a fast day in the Catholic Church?

In 1983, the Code of Canon Law was changed. The 1983, Code of Canon Law eliminated this obligation to abstain and fast, yet many Catholics retained the tradition nonetheless. … These three cultures, like most other eastern European cultures, are among the few that keep the meat-free Christmas Eve tradition.

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