Friday, December 23, 2011

Celebrating Easter Amish Style

We are interested in the Amish celebration of Christmas, and Easter, too.
I shared how we used to celebrate Christmas while we were Amish here.

Christmas was my favorite holiday. Easter on the other hand was a long drawn out tiresome affair that as a child I used to be very glad once it was over.

In the community where I grew up the Easter holidays officially started on Thursday evening before Good Friday when we would have an extra big meal for supper and then a little snack yet before we went to bed. Extra care was given to make sure the house was in order.

On Friday morning we would get up, do what ever chores that needed to be done. Cows and other animals have this way of needing to be cared for no matter what else is going on. After chores were done we would wash up and then sit in the living room since Good Friday was a day of fasting it was more sober and solemn than a normal Sunday. We would read the Bible and the prayers in the little black prayer book and the German, Rules of a Godly Life book. There was no playing and any talking was done in hushed tones.

It was always a relief once the day was over. The next day always seemed to carry some of the previous days solemness with it as we hurried to do all the regular Saturday cleaning and preparing lots of food for the next two days so we wouldn't have to cook much.

Easter Sundays we would treat like any other Sunday except Mom would make soft boiled eggs for breakfast. Thankfully that was a once a year occurrence! If it was our church Sunday we would go to church. Otherwise we would stay at home and read, play games, write letters, and things along that line.

Easter Monday we again couldn't work it was a day treated much the same as any inbetween Sunday and by now we were all tired of having to sit around doing nothing.


  1. I've learned by talking with the Amish and old order Mennonites that its really about celebrating the holidays with the family, and the meals that follow which seem to be more important. I know some or most exchange gifts but they would be un-wrapped and be a little more practical than the English would exchange. Merry Christmas again as i now take my own holiday break until the first of the year. Richard

  2. I'm wondering if this is some sort of deliberate "disobedience" (I know there's a better word, but I haven't yet had my quota of coffee) to the established churches in Europe. Easter was the center of the Christian year, and Christmas was either overlooked or it forbidden to celebrate it, while the Amish do exactly the opposite. It does seem odd to observe Good Friday and then not celebrate the Resurrection. No wonder you were glad it was all over.

    Have a blessed Christmas!

  3. I agree with what Lady Anne said, especially the last two sentences.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. May you be blessed as you celebrate our Lord's birth.

  4. Merry Christmas to you and yours...I love checking in now and then to see what you've written and responses of others...Keep well, and may you and your family make many memories, that you'll share with all of us in years to come!

  5. No wonder you were glad when it was over as a child!

  6. I’m enjoying your stories. I grew up Old Order Mennonite and it’s fun to compare how similar and yet different our lives were. Our Christmas present was wrapped in a brown grocery bag and laid on our breakfast plate the first day of Christmas break from school. That way we could play with it during our entire Christmas break. And then on Christmas Day we always went to one of our Grandparents or an Uncle and Aunts house for dinner. On my mom’s side of the family everyone went together and gave our grandparents a gift. On my dad’s side of the family my grandparents gave us each a gift. One year it was a little glass bird trinket. One year a hand-woven rug my aunt had made. A number of years we got hot pads my grandma had made. I was always pleased with what we got and I never felt cheated for not having gotten any gifts at my other grandparents. I remember anticipating the meal and then the candy and snacks in the afternoon and playing with my cousins while surrounded with the hum of adult conversation and laughter. I don’t remember people asking throughout the entire month of December, “Are you ready for Christmas?” We just were.


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.