PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — By closing time, the fresh fish on ice disappeared from the counters at Robert Wholey Company in the Strip District.
Throughout Tuesday, customers stocked up on a wide variety of seafood in preparation for a long-time Christmas Eve tradition called the Feast of the Seven Fishes.
“Fish soup, we’re having shrimp, we’re having squid, calamari, we’re having mussels and were having cod,” Dominic DeFrancisiis said.
For the last two days, more than a hundred people have been waiting for Robert Wholey Company to open.
Since then, they’ve sold up to 50,000 pounds of fish.
The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an old tradition that originated in southern Italy and continues in Pittsburgh.
“The number seven can mean a couple of things. The celebration of the seven sacraments, the seven hills of Rome,” said store owner Sam Wholey.
Some admit the true meaning may have been lost through the generations.
But when it comes to families getting together for the holidays, the Feast of the Seven Fishes has survived the test of time.
“It’s a tradition that brings everyone together,” said Dave Perry.