Amish celebrate numerous holidays. Although they do not observe all of the traditional American holidays, they have unique Amish holidays they celebrate.
Many Amish celebrate Easter Monday, “Second Christmas,” Pentecost day, “old Christmas,” and Ascension Day, in addition to their religious holidays as well as birthdays and Thanksgiving.
However, not all Amish people observe these holidays because not everybody enjoys and has fun like others.
All the Amish festivals are always rich in custom and significate. Amish take all their holidays from the Bible and oppose any holiday celebrating a heroic figure or a country.
What holidays do the Amish Not celebrate?
Typically, the Amish Do Not celebrate Memorial Day and July 4th as these festivals concern freedom, while the Amish do not believe in going to war.
Amish are non-violent and pacifists; hence they do not culturally endorse any level of military services. The Amish may put off a few fireworks during the 4th of July holiday even though they do not necessarily observe the holiday.
Normally, all the Amish holidays are spent with loved ones and are mainly marked by being off work. Also, it is important to remember that there are different Amish groups, hence different traditions.
The Amish rituals and traditions vary from sect to sect, church to church, and family to family; hence the Amish cannot be generalized. During the holidays, the Amish stop working and only feed their animals.
However, their culture is starting to change due to the meshing of the Amish people with other non-Amish people.
It is now fairly common to observe and see Amish individuals attending community and public festivals dedicated to festivals like the 4th of July.
Commemorative or “for-fun” holidays like father’s day are not celebrated in the Amish community. In living out the Amish faith beliefs, they do so happily surrounded by family, food, and friends.
Family is the most significant aspect of any Amish holiday. The following are the major holidays in the Amish community and how they are observed:
Do the Amish believe in Christmas (25th of December)?
Amish revere Christmas as the most important holiday where they celebrate Christ with feasting, togetherness, and leisure.
Amish Christmas does not comprise Christmas trees, Santa Claus, or stockings. They may simply decorate their homes with poinsettias, candles, or candle-lit centerpieces on the table, while others prefer to maintain the simplicity of the Amish lifestyle.
Amish view Christmas as a solemn commemoration of Christ’s birth. They practice gift-giving, together with religious observations like prayers, singing, and storytelling. Their gifts are wrapped with nothing elaborate. The Amish children perform Christmas plays.
On Christmas day, many Amish hold church services to have an all-day get-together as church members and briefing of affairs for a few hours.
Interestingly, many Amish homes have two kitchens to accommodate the demand for food on feast days like Christmas. The Amish enjoy several activities like caroling, youth Christmas supper, Christmas programs, and family time on this day.
On Christmas, the Amish enjoy food such as mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, fruits, stuffing, and Christmas puddings.
What is Second Christmas for the Amish?
Amish celebrate a second Christmas on 26th, which is normally devoted to relaxing with loved ones or visiting relatives.
There is also an old Christmas –January 6th- exactly twelve days after Christmas. The Old Christmas is more solemn, unlike the 25th Christmas, which is more jovial.
It was the ancient date when the Three Wise Men traveled to Bethlehem to look for Baby Jesus. The day starts with fasting till noon, followed by a Christmas meal and giving gifts.
However, the day emphasizes visiting and reflecting instead of reveling. Also, the day usually comprises; relaxing and visiting their extended family members.
The Amish employees get off work during this day, and many Amish-staffed jobs and businesses are closed for the Old Christmas holiday.
Do Amish Celebrate Thanksgiving (November)?
The Amish enjoy and similarly celebrate Thanksgiving as the English people. Amish uphold Thanksgiving as a time to show gratitude and celebrate it with love.
At the festival, there is a classic feast of potatoes, turkey, pumpkin pie, stuffing, and the works, exactly like the English thanksgiving holiday.
Their Thanksgiving comes in the middle of their wedding season as their weddings happen on November, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. In case when there is no wedding on that day, they gather in one of the largest homes of an elder to prepare a feast and enjoy it together.
The women spend several days preparing and cooking the required food for Thanksgiving, as cooking enough food for a large Amish family takes a long time.
After a meal, the dessert is laid out, which is usually brought as a side item by guests and family members coming over for the feast.
Do the Amish Celebrate Good Friday, Easter, and Easter Monday (April)?
The Good Friday, a prayer and fasting day, marks the beginning of the Amish community’s Easter celebrations. Easter is celebrated in different ways among the Amish.
Most often, there are communities or church services devoted to the Amish faith. Also, the Amish children play games like coloring eggs and volleyball together.
However, Easter bunny concepts in the Amish culture do not exist. The day is fixed as a religious holiday based on community and faith. Amish observe “Easter Monday” and normally rest on Tuesday after Easter.
Nothing special happens on Easter Monday except rest.
Do the Amish Celebrate Ascension Day (40 days after Easter Sunday)?
The Amish celebrate this holiday on the sixth Thursday after Easter Sunday. It marks the day Christ ascended back to heaven, which occurs forty days after His resurrection.
The Amish do not work during this day and celebrate in various ways, including church picnics.
Do Amish Celebrate Birthdays?
Amish birthdays are celebrated quietly in schools and homes in a pleasant way. A child’s birthday is honored by sharing cakes and ice creams between parents and friends.
The celebration normally continues till the 16th birthday. Afterward, adults are only gifted small gifts during their birthdays with no celebration.
Do Amish Celebrate New Year’s Eve?
It occurs between 31st December and 1st of January. The Amish treat New Year’s Eve like any other calendar day.
Some Amish may wait for midnight while others will sleep at their normal bedtime. There are no late-night parties.
Their celebration begins on New Year’s Day, and since it is not a recognized religious day, the Amish are not obligated to attend church or fast.
Simply, it is a day free from work and responsibilities. The Amish feast the New Year with a sauerkraut and pork feast. They enjoy the food they have stored away during New Year’s Day.
Do Amish Celebrate Communion?
The Amish celebrate their communion twice a year-one in Spring and the other in Fall. The service can last about 6-8 hours or even up to a day.
The communion service is normally held in a select church member’s home, where they confess their sins to each other.
Also, they concentrate on strengthening their unified commitment to God and community. According to their tradition, they consume bread and wine.
The Amish might also take part in the foot-washing ritual, a shared meal, and a sermon.
Do Amish Celebrate Pentecost Monday?
The Pentecost occurs 50 days after Easter Sunday. The day represents the day Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles.
To others, the holiday is referred to as the Church’s Birthday because it marks the beginning of the Christian Church’s mission of evangelism.
On Pentecost day, there is no large feast prepared. The Amish enjoy more picnic-style like potato salad, coleslaw, deviled eggs, and broccoli salad with family and friends.
Pentecost Day is followed by Whit Monday, when the Amish stay off work and relax at home; since the Pentecost holiday falls on a Sunday, the Amish stay off work the next day, which becomes Whit Monday.
Do Amish Celebrate St Michael’s Day?
Amish people enjoy St Michael’s Day on October 11th by fasting and resting. They close businesses and go to a communion service to welcome autumn and honor St Michael.
The Amish celebrate this holiday along with fall communion on Saturday, Oct 10th. Although it is a lesser-known holiday, it is still celebrated in the Amish community.
Amish use this day to search their soul and ensure they are in good standing with the Church and God’s Ways.
Fasting means the Amish skip breakfast and is not allowed to eat until lunchtime. Both the Amish and the Catholics celebrate the day.
In conclusion, the Amish celebrate various holidays unique to them and others similar to the English holidays. Their holidays mainly revolve around religion and family.
Normally, all the Amish holidays are spent with loved ones and are mainly marked by them being off work.
The Amish take all their holidays from the Bible, opposing any holiday involving the country or heroic figures. The Amish have only one secular holiday, Thanksgiving. Commemorative or “for-fun” holidays like father’s day are not celebrated in the Amish community.
However, due to the meshing of the Amish with non-Amish communities, their culture is starting to change at it is pretty common to see the Amish attending other secular holidays.
The Amish celebrate Christmas, Second Christmas, Communion, ascension, Easter, St Michael’s Day, Pentecost Monday, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, and Birthdays among the main holidays.