Do Amish celebrate Halloween?
While Amish do grow a lot of the pumpkins that become the Jack-o-Lanterns adorning homes across the nation today, the Amish themselves do not have a tradition of carving or displaying their own.
The most you might see are some uncarved pumpkins and gourds festively arranged at some homes (though I suppose that could just as easily fall under the category of “autumn decorations”).
While some readers have suggested that Amish children in at least one community do trick-or-treat, generally this is not something you will see Amish youngsters doing.
In the new Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites (more on that to come), Donald Kraybill tells us that “TRADITIONAL GROUPS [ie, Amish], in keeping with their separatist stance, are more likely to ignore holidays such as Halloween in the United States or its equivalent in other countries, and holidays that emphasize nationalistic military themes” (Concise Encyclopedia, p 107).
However, I must add that I was surprised once when an Indiana Amishman told me that yes, in fact his family did regularly celebrate on Halloween.
Well, just what did they do? Birthday cake and candles, for October 31st is his daughter’s birthday, he explained with a grin.
Want more? Try this AOE entry on Amish Holidays.
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