Feast of 7 Fishes

Christmas Tradition


Primary Language- English

Occupation- USC Student

Residence- Virginia

Date of Performance- 4/15/16

At home, we have an italian tradition that we partake in each year during christmas eve. Everyone in our family has to eat 7 types of seafood in one day. We call it the Feast of 7 Fishes. I have done it almost my entire life and will continue to do it. I have always believed that if we do not eat the 7 types of seafood during christmas eve, it would be bad luck. I do not really know why but I just know that bad things will happen if we don’t do it one year.

Mark is from Virginia and has lived there his entire life. His great grandparents are from Italy but his parents are also from Virginia. His parents and grandparents have also partaken in this long tradition so naturally, he has too. Besides eating the delicious food, he likes it because its something special to his family and he would not do it a year, there would be bad luck and it would not feel right

When you partake in the tradition, it has to be during christmas eve and the entire family or members you are gathered with must be present. The family gives thanks, then feast on seven types of seafoods. The food is typically gathered very recently. If seven foods are not eaten or it is after christmas eve, many also believe it is bad luck.

I think this tradition is very interesting because a lot of cultures have different types of food they like to eat during the same day of the year. In my family, we typically eat tamales and posole for christmas eve, but we make so much that we end up eating them for another two weeks. We have no superstition along with it except that the food is just made during that time of year in excess because it is delicious and perfect for the time and vibe set. The feast that italian americans do during christmas eve is slightly different than the one in Italy. It originated from the celebration of the birth of jesus. The Feast of 7 Fishes is called the Vigil in Italy and was started in Southern Italy. This tradition also comes from not eating any meat before christmas eve which is lent in other traditions.