Blessing of the Fleet

Things to do, Fairs and festivals Free
The Santa Maria Di Porto Salvo at the Sydney Fish Market blessing of the fleet
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

Wish the local fishing fleet safe passage (and sample some of the fishy fruits of their labours) with this time-honoured tradition at Sydney Fish Market

One of the oldest traditions observed by fishing communities across the globe is the annual blessing of local fishing fleets. It's a time-honoured ritual that safeguards the fisherfolk doing the hard yards on the high-seas as they bring the ocean's bounty to our tables.

Sydney Fish Market, the city's largest seafood hub, will once again be marking its annual blessing of the fleet by opening its doors to the public; the only day of the year when the markets are accessible to all. In Sydney, the fishing industry shares strong ties with the Italian community and this cultural connection will be on full display on Sunday, September 29. You'll be able to sample some of the finest delicacies from the deep as well as Italian street food while enjoying live entertainment and a carnival atmosphere at Blackwattle Bay wharf.

The well-wishing kicks off with the ceremonial parade of a statue of the Santa Maria Di Porto Salvo – that's the Saint Mary of Safe Harbours for you non-Italian speakers – which follows a route around the markets and down to the wharf. This is no solemn procession; the march is a vibrant and colourful affair, revealing a fascinating glimpse of Mediterranian culture on Australian soil.

After that important business is concluded, it's time to party with an afternoon of live music, including performances by DJ-band Sincopia, spaghetti-eating competitions, net-mending demonstrations and free kids’ face painting. And of course, there will be the freshest seafood in abundance. Savour just-shucked oysters, or prawns and crab expertly cooked by the award-winning retailers. More adventurous foodies can awaken their palates with sea urchin straight from the shell or salt and pepper fish roe.

By: Maxim Boon

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