What's the origin of eating fish on Friday?
By KinKStar Asked Apr 21 2006 12:17PM
By KinKStar Asked Apr 21 2006 12:17PM
This answer was last edited on: May 3, 2006
"Fish on Friday"
This is what the Code of Canon Law of 1983 says about the matter:
Abstinence from meat, or another food according to the prescriptions of the Conference of Bishops, is to be observed on all Fridays throughout the year unless they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the first century, Jews fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. The original Christians were all Jewish and were used to the fasting as a discipline. They moved the fast days to Wednesdays and Fridays, because Judas engineered Jesus' arrest on a Wednesday and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Most often that fast took the form of avoiding meat in the diet. In those days, meat was a luxury food. You either had to buy it in a market or you had to own enough land to keep cattle. On the other hand, anyone could grow vegetables or forage for them, and anyone could catch a fish in a lake or a stream. You could buy better fish and vegetables, but the point is that you could eat without money if you were poor. So meat was rich people's food and fish was poor people's food. That is why the most common form of fasting was to omit meat and eat fish.
"Why fish on Friday" By Harry Hanson
How did the �Fish on Fridays� during Lent come into being? I viewed the book �How did it begin?� by R. Brasch, who has studied the origins of superstitions, customs and strange habits of people.
The book stated unlike Fridays appearing as doom and gloom days to early Christians, pagan societies prior to Christendom heralded the day of the week as being special. Named after Freya, goddess of love, it was a special day for festive marriages.
However, Friday became a frowned upon day long before �TGIF� (Thank God it�s Friday) became accepted at water spigot meetings. For instance, it has been suggested that Adam and Eve ate their forbidden fruit, apples, on a Friday and died on a Friday.
Of course, it was on a Friday that Jesus died on the cross. The result of course, was that Friday always became a day of remembrance and memorial of that fateful day in history just as �Sundays became a little Easter.�
It became a custom never to start a new task or begin a journey on a Friday. Sailors refused to leave port on such days. In France it was found fewer people took bus or train rides on this day of the week.
In attempting to pooh-pooh this theory, the British navy laid keel to a ship named H.M.S. Friday on a Friday. The launch date was set for a Friday with the ship�s captain Joe Friday. On her maiden voyage, beginning on a Friday, nothing was heard thereafter concerning ship or crew.
Friday a day of penitence for Catholics
In memory of the Crucifixion of Christ, Friday became a day of abstinence, a day of penitence for its followers. Anyone over age fourteen was expected to abstain even though there is nothing in the scriptures to prescribe it.
While Jews fast for 24 hours as a Day of Atonement, and Moslems do likewise during the month of Ramadan (they are permitted to eat during nighttime hours), Catholics have recognized Fridays as meatless days to coincide with the Hebrew tradition of not eating meat on days of sorrow.
Why fish? One day of the week was to be set aside by early Christians to link themselves with the tragic death of Jesus. But, it also could have dated back to the pagan world of Aphrodite, the goddess of the sea. �The eating of fish promoted fruitfulness� it was believed.
Conversely, in ancient days it was believed that eating meat was commensurate with manliness, and refraining from doing lessened any lust. Hence, fish became a substitute.
It was more likely that political and economic reasons reinforced Friday as a day for eating fish. It would help the fishing industry at the time. Likewise, because fish was cheaper than meat so that poorer folk didn�t feel different when purchasing fish at the market. Finally, by establishing competition between fishermen and meat growers, prices could be lowered all the way around.
Comment: Yesterday was Friday at the Salvation Army and as usual we had fish for lunch and a few of us were wondering about the actual origins of it all. I figured it had to do with Jesus Christ being crucified on a Friday, thus, Good Friday. So I did a Yahoo Search and found the above. I believe Christians should know a lot more about such religious matters and study more than they do about Jesus Christ, the Holy Bible and other pertinent religious issues in these times, especially about issues related to being a Christian in comparison to being a Muslim. A true believer is a true believer. Be a true believers, not a make-believer.~Blessings, Peta