Sydney Fish Market, in collaboration with local Italian group, Association Bagnara Calabra Sydney, is set to celebrate the Blessing of the Fleet on September 27.
The traditional Italian Catholic ceremony, which involves blessing the local fleet and visiting vessels to ensure a safe and bountiful fishing season, will be marked with a showcase of Italian-themed celebrations including performances from Italian singers Chris Ninni (The Voice), Natalie Colavito (XFactor) and Alfredo Malabello.
There will be a cooking demonstration and the popular yet very competitive, spaghetti-eating competition.
“The Blessing of the Fleet is a significant cultural event for our local fishers who are the lifeblood of Sydney Fish Market. We invite the public to come enjoy the many activities and entertainment, and witness a century-old custom,” said Bryan Skepper, GM, Sydney Fish Market.
The blessing will take place from 10:30am at the Sydney Fish Markets and will be conducted by Father Christopher Slattery, parish priest of St. Martha’s Catholic Church, Strathfield.
The tradition includes a colourful procession of the Madonna – the statue of the Santa Maria Di Port Salvo, who is the protector and guardian of seafarers and fishermen. The statue is an exact replica of the Madonna from the Calabrian region in Italy and roughly translated means ‘St Mary of Safe Harbour’.