Regardless of your heritage, a traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner (Feast of the Seven Fishes) is a fabulous way to celebrate the holiday.

Four Italian seafood dishes, mussels, scungilli, squid, baked stuffed shrimp

Serving a multi-course seafood dinner on Christmas Eve (La Vigilia) is a wonderful holiday mealtime tradition that originated in Southern Italy.

Also known as the feast of the seven fishes, the dishes served for this occasion vary from family to family and region to region.

There’s some debate over what the seven fishes represent. Some say they honor the seven holy sacraments of the Catholic Church, others say they mark the seven days of creation.

The recipes we’ve adopted into our non-Italian family include mussels, clams, shrimp, squid, scallops, cod, and snail salad (scungilli).

Buon Natale!

More Christmas recipes:

Italian Christmas Eve Menu