Feast of the Seven Fishes

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Beginning as a Christmas Eve tradition for many native Roman Catholics in Italy, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is an elongated, formal holiday dinner featuring seven different kinds of seafood.  Originally named “Festa dei Sette Pesci,” this tradition roots itself on a whole day of abstaining from food and commit to worshipping the birth of the Lord, also known as, “The Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord.”

Did You Know?

Did you know that the tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes was brought over from Italy by more than four million native Italians from 1880 to 1924?  This is because the Italian peninsula began merging all of its regions into one sovereign nation in 1861.  Such actions were initiated to nurturing the northern cities – such as Turin, Milan andVenice – at a time when the south of Italy was thriving.  Doing so left many southern cities – such asRome and Naples – without as many resources to continue to resist increasing crime and poverty rates.  What better way to travel and inhabit a new land than to bring all of the memorable traditions along with you?


What’s the Deal with Seven Fishes?


Historically, the “seven fishes” do not exactly have an origin.  Seven is known to be significant both within the text of the Bible as well as other facets of the Roman Catholic Church: the seven sacraments or the seven virtues.  Other people say it has no meaning at all other than it is a unique theme other than the traditional Christmas ham and fixings everyone else seems to serve. Whatever your beliefs and traditions, it’s safe to say that the feast brings people together on a special day like Christmas Eve.

Is It Literally Seven Fishes for Dinner?

Not exactly. Dishes served at a Feast of the Seven Fishes can range from lobster fra diavolo to mussels with spaghetti.  The most important part is that you’ll need to bring a hefty appetite to a Feast of the Seven Fishes.  Some families have well-exceeded their limit to seven dishes; some even prepare as many as 13different dishes to serve at the feast. But it seems like no one family has the same spin on the feast.  There are no rules to commit to and anything goes.  So, if you can’t stand the thought of serving eel for dinner, you are more than welcome to opt for something less…slimy.

Fern Hill’s carries on this Italian tradition. 

Fern Hill carries on this Christmas tradition with their very own Feast of the Seven Fishes.  This year it is on Saturday, December 21stat 7 pm.  The dinner is $100 per couple and will definitely leave the appetite satisfied.  This is a great holiday tradition and a wonderful place to get together with family and friends.

Please call to RSVP byDecember 16th.  To make reservations, please call us at 586-286-4700.  

Click here to view the menu.

Source: 7 Facts About theFeast of the Seven Fishes (Mental Floss)

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