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:


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.


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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