What happens in an Amish community at Thanksgiving? Today Don Burke takes us through the Amish community at Clark, Missouri to give us an outside visitor’s perspective. These photos were actually taken over Thanksgiving in 2014 (see Don’s full sets here and here). I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving Day from a Passerby’s Perspective
It is an autumn day, late in the month of November as my wife and I pass through the Amish community of Clark, MO.
It is a cold day – bitterly cold. With hints of snow on the ground…
And since the group in Clark don’t allow windshields in the buggies, a tarp-looking cover (and possibly a blanket or quilt underneath) for riders is standard equipment on days like this.
It is an atypically quiet day for a Thursday, with empty stores displaying Sorry We’re Closed signs…
…and schools without even a remote sign of life…
And in many of the Amish home places the only movement seems to be the farmyard critters.
And like the Amish folk, even the Amish machinery is tucked away and silent.
The few people we notice on this cold early-afternoon are wearing their more formal Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.
And all of these pieces fit together to make a picture of Thanksgiving Day in an Amish community.
But we soon found out that there is also a more active side to Thanksgiving in Clark. This ten-district settlement has five congregations meeting each week, and two of this week’s five chose to shift their worship service to Thanksgiving Day. And as luck would have it, we happened to pass one of those congregations as they were starting to disperse.
Some of the buggies were still gathered at the day’s meeting place.
But as seems common even among the English church-goers, the youth old enough to leave on their own were among the first ones to hit the road.
Even an Amish teen has to customize his ride a bit…
…and add a little something to keep his gal happy.
And be it Amish or English, what teenage guy can pass up a chance to try to show that his ride has more horsepower than his buddy’s?
But whether in church or elsewhere, Thanksgiving in Amish country is a time for getting out…
…to join with family and friends…
…enjoying good times and the bounty that God has provided for another year.
How do the Amish celebrate Thanksgiving? What foods do they eat? What other customs and traditions do they have? Read more about Amish Thanksgiving.