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The Amish and Easter Monday

Judging by my email inbox and the lack of traffic on the roads, today, Easter Monday, is a day off for a number of us.

Amish Religious Holidays

What holidays do Amish observe? And how does that affect the work schedule?

In Amish Enterprise, Donald Kraybill and Steven Nolt write that in Lancaster County, “Church members faithfully recognize Good Friday, Easter, Ascension Day, And Christmas.  They also maintain the old Continental practice of setting aside Easter Monday, Pentecost Monday (Whit Monday), and December 26 (“second Christmas”) for family visiting.”

In a footnote they point out that Easter Monday, Pentecost Monday, and second Christmas are not observed in all Amish communities, however.

Amish Employment

Amish businesses employ both Amish and non-Amish workers (though typically the majority are from the culture).  Since different holidays are observed, this requires flexibility in granting time off.

Kraybill and Nolt cite a contractor who posted the following “separate-but-equal fringe benefit policy” on the wall of his office:

PAID HOLIDAYS

Amish                             Non-Amish

New Year’s Day          New Year’s Day

Good Friday                Good Friday

Ascension Day            Memorial Day

Pentecost Monday     July Fourth

Fall Fast Day                Labor Day

Thanksgiving               Thanksgiving

Christmas                    Christmas

(Chart from page 102, Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits; Donald B. Kraybill and Steven M. Nolt)

Amish businesses who employ only Amish have a simpler time of it of course.  Businesses also try to be flexible in giving time off for other events in the Amish schedule–ie, the autumn wedding season.

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Also wanted to take a quick moment to give thanks to Ira Wagler, who gave my book a most kind plug over at his always-interesting blog.

I enjoyed the chance to finally meet Ira in person last week while in Lancaster County.  Ira grew up Amish, and has a book of his own in the early stages.  If it’s anything like his blog writing, I’m sure it will be a hit.

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5 Comments

  1. Barb Larkin

    I respect the Amish to keep to their ways and culture. I live near Lancaster Pa. When I was in Grad school I did a paper on the Amish and spend time in Lancaster. The familly kept in touch and my children met them but they moved to Kentucky and we still write.

  2. Judy Duer-Waloski

    This is my first time writing a comment on a blog but I just had to tell you how much I love reading all of the information that you post. I love the Amish, at this point I think that I’m addicted to learning everything that I can about them. I get to go to Lancaster each summer, it is just so beautiful there. I can’t wait to go this summer. My husband and I eat at an Amish home and stay on a Mennonite Farm each year & truly love it there. Thank you for helping me continue in my learning about these wonderful people.

  3. Thanks Barb, and thank you Judy, I’m honored that Amish America got your first ever comment!

  4. Csarina

    Its a pleasure to read your blog, you manage to come up with such interesting facts about the Amish that normally would not be generally known, keep up the good work.

    I am keeping my eyes peeled to see if our library service buys a copy of your book. I am such a tightwad…….LOL my husband has banned me from buying anymore books so I have to rely on the library.

  5. Linda Schendel

    Easter Monday.

    When we were in the bulk foos store in fountain city they had a notice posted about being closed on Easter Monday. I had never thought about it before.