Why Do People Eat Fish on Fridays During Lent Anyway?

So to answer the big question, we have to look into the tradition. In a nutshell, Lent is a period of 40 days lasting from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. During this time, Catholics make changes in their lives to better themselves and their spirits. One way they do this is by giving up meat on Fridays for this timespan, choosing instead to consume fish— why fish, you might ask? Why is fish any different from pork, beef, poultry or the likes? Allow us to tell you!

The explanation behind this tradition can be traced back a pretty long way. When Lent first began, many people felt that meat from land-dwelling animals simply tasted better than fish, and for this reason it was more expensive to purchase. This led to meat being considered a luxury, while in contrast, fish was fish was readily available, cheap, and easy to catch. For this reason, it was considered a “poor man’s” food. Without a luxurious stigma, the Catholic population turned to fish as a substitute for meat in their meals on these days as a means of donning a simpler lifestyle.

While the tradition of Lent echoes a culture that has since changed and fish no longer has such a stigma, it does represent a deeply rooted value in Catholic history. Here at Roma’s, we are pleased to offer alternatives for those observing, but our seafood option is delicious even for those who simply got a hankering for fish while reading this!

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