Learn about the Italian Christmas Eve tradition baccalà! The Christmas celebrations in Italy last for nearly a full month … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. For many Italian Americans, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a can’t-miss Christmas tradition.Traditionally served for Christmas Eve dinner, this meal consists of a spread of seven different types of seafood, from appetizers to main courses—and it can last for hours! But maybe there was a holy day then that was moved. On returning, I just boil water and saute. The Christmas Eve tradition, known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, is perhaps the most well known of the three feasts and is characterized by an extravagant seafood menu with its twelve courses supposedly representative of the twelve apostles.  The menu may also include pasta, vegetables, baked goods and wine. https://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/italian-christmas-recipes The streets become quiet as it gets dark and everyone settles into their meal. Thank you for the informative post. It is unclear when or where the term "Feast of the Seven Fishes" was popularized. This tradition actually started out as a gesture of abstinence, not eating meat, but over the years it took on a life of it’s own, … Your email address will not be published. If you think Christmas seems to arrive earlier with every passing year, you're definitely not... Stay up to date with travel tips, local insights and all things Italy on our social channels! At 9:00 PM, we walked from Monteverde Vecchio down through a chilly Trastevere, crossing the bridge at Ponte Sisto, then across Via Arenula, through the ghetto, to the Capitoline Hill, climbing the 400+ steps to the church. A Mexican-American Christmas Day. Of course just like any other Christmas celebration, festival in Italy cannot be complete without food or rather a feast. Merry Christmas to you!!! I was thinking about Constantine I, the Roman Empire, and how important he was to us all coming together for this wonderful and important day. The number seven may come from the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church, or the seven hills of Rome, or something else. One Christmas tradition in Italy: a Christmas market! Regardless of when they open their presents, many Italians keep their wrapped gifts on display on the pyramid-shaped ceppo, along with candles and other decorations. If you’re in Rome, southern Italy or Sicily, keep an eye out for the zampognari, or bagpipe players—they travel from the nearby mountains to play their merry folklore carols. It's known as The Feast of the Seven Fishes ('Esta dei Sette Pesci' in Italian). Years gone by, the family has changed and many have past on, memories and traditions will carry on through our children as we instill these. Fish is the star of this meal, a custom which stems from the fact that, according to Roman Catholic tradition, observers can’t eat meat on days of fasting — though seafood is acceptable.In many Eastern European countries, this tradition is still upheld. Spaghetti with Anchovies ~ Super quick and easy recipe. Christmas Eve Confetti Pasta. Thank’s for sharing your experience Francesca. You'll find lots of soups, salads, appetizers, pasta, risotto — and most importantly, seafood. The first course is either broth or pasta followed by a second course generally based on meat or fish, followed by dessert,” Giovani Ballarini, anthropologist, president of the Academy of Italian Cuisine, told Italian … Still, we think that some of the traditions can be a great way to understand and partake in the Italian culture! How does this squid remain so shatteringly crisp? What a great post! As this collection of Italian Christmas recipes demonstrates, festive dishes vary from region to region. It’s all fish and vegetables. Italian Christmas Food. 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. Diane W. Stoneback, OF THE MORNING CALL. The feast seems to have its root in southern Italy and was bought over to the USA by Italian immigrants in … There is no general agreement on its meaning.. Italians are well known for their love of feasting and the festive period is no exception, with Italian home cooks displaying their culinary prowess across a number of sumptuous courses. A Passover Seder. Christmas Eve dinner is a big deal in the Italian household. They are traditions of Italy and might not be your own! This easy Christmas dinner has become a holiday tradition in our home. This tradition connects back to the long-standing Italian tradition of vigilia, a day of fasting that ends with a meal that excludes meat and dairy. This is typical on the day and night before any religious celebration; you are supposed to ‘eat lean’ and purify your body ahead of the holidays! The Christmas eve menu differs from one region to another reflecting the characteristics and flavours of the local environment. After a full day of fasting on Christmas Eve, imagine the vigil night of December 24 as an endless feast of fish and pasta to fill hungry bellies. Christmas-related celebrations in Italy traditionally start on the 8th December and conclude on Epiphany – 6th January. Babbo Natale (Father Christmas, or the equivalent of Santa Claus) makes the rounds on the night before Christmas, but another important day for gift-giving is Epiphany on January 6. Christmas in Italy is still very much a religious holiday. I love history, and Ancient Rome is a pretty big part of that!! Christmas Eve falls on December 24 and it’s one of the most important Christmas traditions in Italy. The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italian: Festa dei sette pesci) is an Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve with dishes of fish and other seafood.. Get curated Italy travel tips delivered to your inbox! In Italy, this is the meal that breaks the Christmas Eve fast and it isn’t necessarily a stand-alone event as it is stateside. Italian Christmas Eve traditions. The tradition comes from Southern Italy, where it is known as The Vigil (La Vigilia). Basilicata: Cod with Fried Peppers. If you want to go to the source, head to Naples; the southern Italian city is world-famous for their hand-made presepi. What is Italy’s folklore for Christmas? (Gian Francesco) When they asked his name, he gave the last name only, hence John Frank. Required fields are marked *. Natale," the Italian word for Christmas, is literally the translation for "birthday." It was introduced in the United States by Southern Italian immigrants in New York City's Little Italy in the late 1800s. Italians keep up their Christmas decorations until the Epiphany on January 6th. For many Italian Americans, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is a can’t-miss Christmas tradition. ... Browse the sections and pages below and you will find many fish recipes for your Christmas Eve celebration, many Christmas cookies recipes and plenty of other recipes for Christmas Day. Surely, they do have much in common. An Italian Christmas Eve. Unique Christmas Traditions to See in Italy . Traditionally served for Christmas Eve dinner, this meal consists of a spread of seven different types of seafood, from appetizers to main courses—and it can last for hours! ", "Iron Chef Showdown recap: Italian themed holidays reign supreme", Feast of the Seven Fishes blog: A weblog about this Italian Christmas Eve tradition, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Feast_of_the_Seven_Fishes&oldid=998242793, Italian-American culture in New York City, Articles containing Italian-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 January 2021, at 13:22. Although the idea is to eat lean, most indulge on multiple courses of fish… sometimes as many as seven! Today, the meal typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. Thank you for the wonderful post. This was from the 1950’s through the early ’80s. All the prep is done before we attend Christmas Eve service. The multi-course meal from la … Another of our favorite Christmas traditions in Italy: the festivities! The newly relocated fine dining stalwart made its tradition of chateaubriand a takeout affair, along with a classic Caesar. An Italian Christmas Eve Tradition. You'll find lots of soups, salads, appetizers, pasta, risotto — and most importantly, seafood. Very realistic and interesting. A winter tradition, the dish will be how she’ll get a hint of normalcy this holiday. Each region has its own traditional dish for Christmas dinner: the cuisine reflects the characteristics and flavors of the local environment. Christmas is a time of celebration and festivity, particularly here in the UK, where we have a number of festive traditions, from picking out a Related searches italian christmas eve traditions foods Your email address will not be published. A Chinese New Year. "Seven fishes" as a fixed concept or name is unknown in Italy itself. (So no, no one is saying Mary was pregnant for only three weeks!). Instead, it celebrates the day when the Church decided that Mary was born without having the stain of original sin. https://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/italian-christmas-recipes Crafting these ornate works of art by hand remains an artisanal tradition in many parts of the country. The season begins with a "novena", a nine (nove) day-period of special church services ending on Christmas Eve. The long tradition of eating seafood on Christmas Eve dates from the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of a feast day. In fact, you may have heard this Christmas feast referred to as the Feast of the Seven Fishes, now celebrated with seven different seafood dishes. Apart from the many religious traditions, this is the time each year when celebration foods are prepared and families gather together to enjoy this special season. The main Christmas meal is on Christmas day, and of course Italians have several courses to their meals with this particular holiday definitely being no exception. This tradition connects back to the long-standing Italian tradition of vigilia, a day of fasting that ends with a meal that excludes meat and dairy. The festive season is of course one known for providing many a treat for those with a sweet tooth.