Interest in the beard is growing. How do I know? I just learned about a contest called the Beard and Moustache National Championships.
Prize categories include “best mustache, best partial beard, best full beard and best freestyle”. The Championships will be held this fall in the beard mecca that is Lancaster County. Read about it here: Lancaster beard championships.
I just tried to grow a beard, sort of. Hey, it’s summer. It got off to a great start, but sputtered out, ending up sad and scraggly. After about 2 weeks I put it out of its misery. The beard and me, twasn’t meant to be.
Sometimes you see Amishmen like me–only able to muster wispy, weak-looking beards. I always feel a bit bad for those guys.
Why are beards important to Amish? Last year we had a series of guest posts from “Aaron Miller”, a Lancaster County Amishman. In one post he discusses the beard:
Starting with the beard I know I stated that the reasons for wearing one was a protest against militarism and an imitation of Christ. I later realized that this was an incomplete answer.
Because the protest against militarism part is archaic and though it may have been the case in Europe, there is today greater significance. And as one student pointed out, how do we know Jesus didn’t wear a mustache?–which was a great point. The significance of the beard is as a symbol of humility and identity. It identifies a man as married. The question came up of what would happen if one would grow a mustache…
Read the rest of Aaron’s answer, plus his thoughts on the cell phone, here: Amish beard, no mustache.
Beard photo: FishHeadNed