"The Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italian: Festa dei sette pesci), also known as The Vigil (Italian: La Vigilia), is a Southern Italian and Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve with meals of fish and other seafood. Today, it's a feast that typically consists of seven different seafood dishes. It originates, however, from Southern Italy, where it is known as The Vigil (La Vigilia). Some Italian-American families have been known to celebrate with nine, eleven or thirteen different seafood dishes. This celebration commemorates the wait, the Vigilia di Natale, for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus. "
-Taken from Dinner Lab's email