Battle of the beards in Lancaster County

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.

fake beard championships
What I was aiming for

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

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    8 Comments

    1. Amish Stories

      I may enter this contest myself since i have a beard and mustache, although its not even close to being as long as that fellow in that picture. Its a lot of work folks trying to keep it neat, so if you don’t have any fire in your belly in keeping it that way “don’t do it”. We who wear beards may look a little lazy and disheveled and un- interested in our appearance, and that may be true in my case but we need love too,lol. Richard from http://www.Amishstorys.com

      1. Hi Richard, thanks for the email letting me know about the comments on this post–looks like comments are fine on all other posts and (hopefully) this one too, now?

        I found yours in spam box for some reason but you have been unleashed 😉 Sometimes these comments act up, no idea why…I wonder if anyone else had trouble commenting, or if this is just a dud post 🙂

        Anyway, I can bet it takes some maintenance. Some Amish have very neat beards (not observing “do not trim”), others the opposite.

    2. Amish Stories

      It can take some work Erik so sometimes i think about just taking it off, so I’m always trimming it and keeping it neat. I’m not sure how some of the Amish do it because I’ve seen some very long beards, The last thing i need is meat loaf and mashed potatoes in my beard. But they seem to keep those long beards clean and meat loaf free,lol. Richard from http://www.Amishstorys.com

      1. Meat loaf in the beard means something for later Richard! 😉

    3. David

      I plan on watching “Whisker Wars” Friday night. I never knew there were contests.

    4. Slightly-handled-Order-man

      I think a beard with a shaved head looks silly.

    5. Kevin Lindsey

      I also have a full beard and moustache, but keep it trimmed in length with a battery powered beard trimmer ( a gift from my kids). Since my hair is curly it doesnt grow long but outward! I looked it up in the book “1001 answers on the Christian life”, an Amish book published by Pathway publishers, and what it says about the beard is that it appears that God expects men to have a beard because he created us that way, that the reason for it is it differentiates between women and men in positive way, and that it should be grown when God see’s fit to provide it. Of course, as has been mentioned in this post, he does provide a variety and/or scaricity of beards! Its also a good place to store a snack for later! (just kidding)

    6. My husband has a long beard, somewhat trimmed on the sides to keep it from taking over the world. He does have a mustache. He didn’t for quite a while, preferring the “Brethren” look, but since he lost some visual acuity with the stroke, shaving is too difficult. He also has long hair. He sees this in keeping with the ancient Orthodox priesthood (he is ordained) who wore long hair and beards to indicate their pacifism.