Seafood business is booming on Christmas Eve

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Christmas Eve is a big day for many, but especially those businesses that are in the market of seafood.

That busy holiday rush was no more prevalent than at Fat Cats in Herkimer, which has been in business for 22 years. The owners say that 2010 has been their busiest year, by far.

The tradition of fish on Christmas Eve stems from the Feast of the Seven Fishes, also known as "The Vigil." It is believed to have originated in Southern Italy, and while the tradition may not be as widespread in Italy in the modern age, it certainly remains popular in holiday households here in America.

These days it is a typically Italian-American feast, which consists of seven different types of seafood.

The celebration is a commemoration of the wait for the midnight birth of the baby Jesus.

"The weekend has been hectic," said Felix Ortiz, co-owner of Fat Cats. "Order have been coming in. We're really busy from five to six - we're not even taking orders now for five to six. We're pushing everybody off. A lot of last minute people. Some people drive from Rome just to come down and get their seafood here."

Fat Cats in Herkimer is open until 7 p.m. Friday.

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