Amish Easter Traditions In One Community

I hope everyone had a blessed Easter and ample occasion for reflection, prayer, and of course time spent with family and good food.

How do Amish spend Easter? Dyed Easter EggsThe ways Amish in 500+ settlements across North America observe religious days can vary (see our post on Ascension Day for one example).

In her latest column, Lovina Eicher of the Amish Kitchen column gives us a look at how her family and community celebrate the Easter season:

Good Friday we traditionally keep as a holiday, so no one in our family will go to work or school. The Amish churches in this community have “Fast” (no eating) and prayer until noon. Our family will all be here and have family time. Then we’ll gather here for the noon meal.

On Easter Sunday we will go to church. Easter is the time to rejoice and be thankful for the gift of life Jesus gave for someone like you and me.

The younger children still enjoy coloring eggs for Easter. As I was growing up we always colored eggs. The bright colored eggs always remind me of the colors of the rainbow. Our parents taught us the true meaning of Easter. May we all remember the true meaning of Easter.

Read Lovina’s column in full here.

Easter Monday is also observed in some, but not all Amish communities, as a family visiting day.

Other cultures and countries have their own Easter Monday observances, including in central Europe and Australia. In the US, children have the day off from school in North Dakota, while it was once a public holiday, for over half a century (ending 1987), in North Carolina.

Besides Easter Monday, Amish also observe a number of lesser-known religious holidays, such as St. Michael’s Day and Pentecost Monday, which you can read more about here.

Image credit: 28661972@N05/flickr

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    12 Comments

    1. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      I enjoyed this post. I hope all the Amish and Amish America people had a good weekend and are well.

      An elderly man I know posed an interesting question to me after I had dinner him with my mother at her nursing home.
      He asked me why Easter is a happy time, and questioning why people say “Happy Easter” when the faith historical event was a sad moment, a man’s death – sombre.
      I replied that Christ’ death, although traumatic, is seen as a happy or joyful event because of the saving quality of the event, “the whole died for our sins, thing, its seen as joyful as much as it might have been sad”
      I didn’t exactly put it quite that way, but my mother’s roommate’s Catholic relatives looked at me as if saying “good answer”

      How do we think the Amish would answer him?

      1. Harriet

        Easter Traditions

        I can’t speak for how the Amish would answer this question, but as for me, I would answer it by saying that we are happy, not because of His death, but because of His resurrection. Everyone dies, so that part of the event was not remarkable (except that He did it for us), but He is the only one who was ever resurrected. Easter is celebrating His resurrection and Good Friday remembers His death.

    2. Deborah Halcomb

      I didn’t know they colored eggs. What fun. I used to love coloring eggs and then Easter Afternoon hunting for them at the local park. Most years I wouldn’t get any because I was not a fast runner and all the big kids, we are talking all the way to high school got to them before us little ones. There was always hope though that I would find that golden egg for the prize.

      We were always taught the true meaning of Easter though and Easter basket goodies were not eaten until after church.

    3. April H

      I had no idea Lovina Eicher was still writing a column. It will be good to catch up on how her family has been doing. I wonder why she starting writing through a different “outlet”?

      1. She decided to switch outlets a couple of years ago, April…I wish her well…writers switch editors in this business a lot

    4. Amish Girl - Rebecca

      Hello, This sounds pretty much like our celebration. We also go Easter caroling. Our youth group went Wed. night. On Good Friday morn and eve and Easter morn my Grandma also had other groups of carolers, so a lot of the local youth groups and families are doing it. Yesterday, Easter, morning our church girls went with our bikes, then followed up with a breakfast at one of the older girl’s place. It was a very enjoyable time. Many times Easter also meshes in with Communion, but this year Easter is earlier.

      1. Verity

        Easter Carolling

        Hi Rebecca,
        There are some Easter carols in my Oxford Book of Carols, notably this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVduV0ustWw&ebc=ANyPxKo3UcW7IKUREXwekhFT7qR0EZTQQqdHzXY8-WVbZpr-AtUnKR_rqupCXpnb2_BrrFTt-l6Gp8WJHcR3B3GroPoDz_MPMw so I would guess that carolling at Easter must have been a European tradition, though, sadly, it seems to have died out on this side of the pond. BTW, any more articles in the pipeline? I enjoyed your others.
        Best wishes,

        Verity

        1. Amish Girl - Rebecca

          Hey, Yeah i have a few in the wings. As of now I’m studying for my STNA test, so maybe after that I can think of something else. That’s the only reason I’m at the library tonight.

    5. OSIAH HORST

      Easter and Good Friday

      In our old order Mennonite communities, both in Canada and the US, we also have Good Friday as a day of worship. We had church in the morning, then dinner with daughter Judith and family, a time of singing in the afternoon at daughter Noreen’s and then Marilyn and Bethany were home from southern Ontario and had supper with us and spent the next two nights.

      On Good Friday, the scripture reading is taken from one of the four crucifixion texts and then on Easter, we have the resurrection story. The Sunday before Good Friday we have the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. On the Friday after Good Friday is the annual conference or Ministers’ Meeting and then Communion services start after that and continue for about 4 weeks since each bishop is responsible for 4 districts.

      1. maggie erickson

        Thank you so much! Our traditions are on Maudy Thursday we attend church in the evening and read of the last supper, and agony in the garden. On Good Friday, we remain silent from 12-3, meditating and in prayer, then attend church later in the evening, reading about our Lord’s death and burial. Saturday, is a quiet day with anticipation of our Lord’s joyous resurrection!

    6. Alice Mary

      Rejoice!

      Yes, it’s Easter that’s the “celebration”, being the day we’re taught Christ rose from the dead. (To me, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are “commemorations”, not really “celebrations”. EASTER is the celebration they lead up to.)

      I enjoyed reading about the various Amish Easter celebrations & traditions. I never heard about “Easter carols”! Sounds very joyous for A JOYOUS OCCASION. Several of their customs are just like ours.I liked reading about Mennonite traditions as well(thanks, Osiah).

      I also enjoyed some of the links—in particular, one about Polish & Eastern European customs brought back memories. I have a couple of “figurines” dressed like those Polish boys/men dressed in their red and white “pantaloons(?)” and embroidered vests & shirts…and those terrific hats! And those gorgeous Czech eggs—my Art teacher for 4 years in high school (Sister Jolanta) used to make them every year…but only for the nuns. I was fascinated by the use of the special funnels with melted wax & dipping and re-dipping them in various colors,layer after layer. When she was working on them, it was very hard to keep our minds on our own artwork (we were NOT allowed to decorate eggs that way!) My Mom would also pack an Easter basket (large one, family-size) with the Easter ham, eggs, bread, candy…lots of things…and we (along with a good chunk of our neighborhood in Chicago) would walk to our Catholic church on Holy Saturday to have the baskets of food blessed. That was always a very special time for me. (My cousins & I would wonder if it was a sacrilege to crack and peel a blessed egg!)

      Thanks for an enjoyable post, Erik,and Lovina.

      I hope everyone’s Easter was enjoyable & meaningful!

      Alice Mary

    7. My sister and I will be driving from NJ to Flordia in Oct. and I want her to see some Amish homes no farms. Can someone tell us the best places to see while we are in that area?