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Sydney Fish Market Blessing of the Fleet

Sun 23 Sep 2018
Predominantly a Catholic tradition originating in the Mediterranean, The Blessing of the Fleet ceremony blesses fishing vessels and their crew to ensure a plentiful fishing season and a safe voyage home. As the local fishing fleet has strong Italian origins, the event holds a cultural significance for both the Italian and Sydney fishing communities.

The focal point of the event is the procession of the Madonna – a replica statue of the Santa Maria Di Porto Salvo, the guardian of Safe Ports or Safe Harbour, that was commissioned by the Association Bagnara Calabra. The statue is taken on a colourful procession around the site before returning to the market wharf for the blessings to begin. This year the event will welcome the return of ‘Shirley Smith’, a tug boat from the Port Authority of New South Wales that will form part of the fleet for the day.

Following the procession there will be a host of live entertainment including music from DJ and percussion fusion, The Sincopa Trio; free face painting for kids; the crowd favourite spaghetti-eating competition; stalls from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Maritime Safety Authority and UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation, as well as a fishing display by the Professional Fisherman’s Association and OceanWatch Australia.
Sydney Fish Market, Bank Street, Pyrmont
Jessica Bowen on

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