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Christmas is over for another year and we had a stuffy Christmas Eve full of food and drink, rain all of Christmas Day (both presents for the Pok and the water kind), and Boxing Day was bright and sunny. But one of the most distinct traditions we have in an Australian Summer Christmas is a night raid of the Sydney Fish Markets. The markets are open for 36 hours straight and even at 11:30PM on the 23rd of December it was heaving.

The usual suspects headed out for the raid (i.e. my wife, brother and his wife), with cool bags in tow.

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The Police were alerted to our presence and were out in full force to placate the natives for our arrival (we walk there, while others join the massive traffic jam to enter the car park marshaled by the cops).

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The prawns were overflowing with multiple hands at work to dish them out. Our raid involve acquiring a few kilograms of this stuff.

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Crustaceans of all shapes, kinds and colours were on their best display for the evening. Even with the fake camouflage they couldn’t hide.

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Some fish were feeling special too…

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Mrs Clause couldn’t help but partake in some oyster shucking.

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And to think that this row of ocean fruit would all be gone in probably a couple of hours, replaced by the next batch.

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It wasn’t just seafood on sale, the deli was flogging off its fromage.

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And they also stocked all the colours of the rainbow of bottled goodness.

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The sushi reindeer were working overtime.

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And some of the salmon sold were longer than my arm.

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Hope you all had a good Christmas!

Christmas Eve is upon us here in Sydney, and one of the unique Aussie traditions – a visit to the Sydney Fish Markets. Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is in the middle of summer, and instead of Turkey many of us have prawns (and lobster, crab, Balmain bugs, oysters, salmon, along with anything else that swims or drinks salt water) for Christmas dinner. So the Sydney Fish Markets are open for 36 hours straight from 6am on the 23rd of December until 6pm on Christmas Eve. It is pandemonium and the busiest day of the year for the fishmongers. The queuing is so big going into the markets that the police manage the traffic into and out of the parking lots. We are fortunate in that we are less than a 5 minute walk to the markets, and observe all the mayhem with some amusement. Normally we go to pick up our seafood at 2am on Christmas Eve, but as we were still down in Melbourne at that time we had to delay our trip to 10:30am. It was very busy at that time, with some of the fishmongers having queues 3 deep from the stalls. Many fish lovers were walking around with esky sized boxes filled to the brim with seafood and ice. I had the Pok on my shoulders, and from his vantage point he was happily eyeing up the large selection of prawns on offer. One of the blokes even indulged him and gave him a king prawn to munch one – to which he shoved the whole thing in his mouth at once, grinning from ear to ear. Here are some of the photos I shot, with him sitting on my shoulders the whole time. It brings a whole new meaning to balance and stability for your shot.

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Now I am going to finish enjoying the rum that I have in my hand, and look forward to more mayhem tomorrow morning as my son tears into the presents delivered by Father Christmas. Merry Christmas to all, and peace to all men. Joyeux Noël.

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