Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I see that in several of the previous comments you were already asked how the Amish celebrate Christmas and Easter I am also curious how they celebrate birthdays. And how about other holidays like Thanksgiving, Halloween, Valentines Day, Independence Day, and any other national holidays?
I described the celebration of Christmas and Easter in previous posts so today I will be sharing how some of the other holidays were observed in the community where I grew up.

Thanksgiving we always went to church in the forenoon. It was basically the same as regular church services. Everyone always seemed to be in extra good spirits and the sermons usually centered on blessings and things we have to be thankful for. The last hymn (The German version of Now Thank we all our God) that we sang after the preaching was over wasn't quite as slow and drawn out as most church songs and used to be one of my favorites and one of the first church songs I learned to sing on my own.

We always had a big Thanksgiving feast at home afterwards. Most years we invited all the extended family that was living in the same community.

We never observed Halloween in any way.

Valentines Day wasn't necessarily observed on Feb. 14th.  Courting couples usually exchanged chocolates and gifts on the Sunday following Valentines Day.

Independence Day for the most part was simply another day. In the evenings we would sit outside in the yard to watch a local fireworks show.

Any other holidays like Labor Day and Memorial Day were not observed. We had our own special holidays.  January 6th  Epiphany was observed by fasting in the forenoon and often going to visit friends in the afternoon.

Forty days after Easter we observed Ascension Day again with fasting and then visiting and nine days after that we observed Pentecost.

Birthdays were celebrated differently in different families. In my family Mom always made a decorated cake and there would be a small gift or two. It was a day of fun and freedom from regular chores and we could choose our favorite food for dinner.  In LV's family all they had was a verbal Happy Birthday in the morning when they got up and then the rest of the day was no different from any other day.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. I found it very quaint to find that your family celebrated birthdays in the EXACT same fashion as we do in our home.

  2. I find your use of the term " forenoon " quite a pleasant expression. Can't recall ever hearing anyone use that.

  3. this is an interesting post. I have always admired and strived for the simplicity of the Amish.
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

  4. My husband told me that in his family, one birthday treat was that the birthday child could skip school for the day. We didn't do that in my family, but I must say it sounds nice.


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