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Amish Holidays

amish new year song

Thanksgiving. New Year’s Eve. Christmas. Easter.

When it comes to holidays, the Amish celebrate many of the same ones we “English” do.  And though Amish holidays aren’t likely to include our federal holidays like Columbus Day or Labor Day, many Amish observe other holidays such as Easter Monday, “second Christmas,” “Old Christmas,” Pentecost, and Ascension Day. However, not all Amish communities will celebrate these holidays.  Some will celebrate more, others less. But no matter which are included, an Amish holiday is always full of meaning and tradition. Let’s look at a few.

Christmas. While Amish schoolchildren will perform Christmas plays, Christmas is not a time for decorating trees, stockings or Santa Claus. Rather, the Amish Christmas is a solemn celebration of Christ’s birth. Second Christmas – the day after Christmas – is when the Amish observe what we might consider a more traditional Christmas. It is a time for visiting family, small gift exchanges, and enjoying good food and fellowship. Additionally, some Amish communities will celebrate “Old Christmas” on January 6th. Always exactly twelve days after Christmas, January 6th is the traditional date of the Three Wise Men visiting Bethlehem to find the baby Jesus.

Thanksgiving. An Amish Thanksgiving is much like our Thanksgiving. It is a time for giving thanks and gathering with family and friends. Like our “English” celebration, it involves the traditional feast of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, and the works!

Easter. Another time of reflection and celebration, Easter for the Amish community begins on Good Friday, which is devoted to prayer and fasting. On Easter Sunday, Amish family and friends gather for food and fellowship. Though there is no Easter Bunny in the Amish celebration, Amish children will color eggs. Many Amish will also observe “Easter Monday,” returning to their normal work schedules on the Tuesday following Easter.

New Year’s Eve is typically celebrated with a simple church service, hymn singing, and a pot luck. “Neujahrs-Lied,” the Amish “New Year’s Song,” is sung by Amish families and wishes God’s blessings to all who hear:

Amish New Years Song Sheet Music

Tis time now to welcome the Happy New Year,
God grant you to live and enjoy the New Year.
God grant you to live and enjoy the New Year.

Good fortune and blessings to dwell in your home,
God grant you such blessings this year in your home.
God grant you such blessings this year in your home.

In heaven before the great heavenly throne,
God grant you reward in that heavenly home.
God grant you reward in that heavenly home.

In closing this year, we repeat this one wish,
God grant you on high once that heavenly bliss.
God grant you on high once that heavenly bliss.

But whether Christmas, Easter or any holiday in between, when the Amish community celebrates, it is a grand, fun-filled, family event!

Is it time to add a gazebo to your landscape for the next big celebration at your house?  Why not design your own gazebo today?

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