Catfish Day is a holiday that dates back to June 25, 1987, when U.S. President Ronald Reagan opened a presidential address by speaking about the culinary pleasures of eating catfish, and farmed catfish in particular. The President then went on to explain how catfish farming was creating both a stable income for farmers and an affordable food source for Americans.
The holiday is now traditionally celebrated on the anniversary of President Reagan’s address. It is observed primarily in the United States, by preparing and eating catfish.
Catfish are any fish from a number of species that usually feature whisker-like barbels near the mouth. They are usually bottom-feeders in freshwater, and many species are farmed or fished for food. Although catfish is a popular dish in many regions, it is extremely popular as a breaded and fried dish in the southern United States, where its popularity indirectly led to the creation of the holiday.
Several American cities now have festivals known as “Catfish Days” in late July, featuring sporting events, fairs, and other activities.