Do Amish Celebrate Christmas on January 6?
To most of the world, Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. So, why do the Amish celebrate their Christmas on January 6th?
This celebration is known as Old Christmas or Epiphany and occurs on January 6th as the date that the three wise men visited Jesus in Bethlehem.
This celebratory day focuses on the three wise men finding their way to see baby Jesus and the divinity that Jesus brought to those around him.
Many holidays in communities are Amish holy days and stray from western or mainstream traditions as they focus on and hold their old Amish traditions dear.
Time-honored tradition and a devotion to those traditions are what makes the Amish such a respectable people. Their craftsmanship and authentic homemade items are quite something.
What this article covers:
January 6th was the original date for Christmas in the 16th century before it changed to December 25th around the 1590s.
In the 16th century, the European calendar became quite confusing. New research from astrologists showed that the year had 365.24 days instead of 365.25, which they had previously thought.
After this change, Christmas changed to December 25th because of various reasons, but also to align with the winter solstice.
The Amish celebrate Christmas with a more spiritual focus, while, the rest of the world celebrates more decoratively and cheerfully, celebrating gifts and Santa Claus.
The Amish celebrate all their holidays with a deep spiritual focus, with lots of solemn celebrations and activities.
Many religious Christian groups continued to celebrate Christmas on January 6th, as the Amish still do today, a tradition from times before the change.
Like all Amish holidays, tradition plays the biggest role in these occasions, as many Amish communities try to adhere to the “old” ways of doing things in Christian religions.
These old ways are often much simpler traditions that are not mainstream or modern. Amish communities use holidays, such as Easter and Christmas, as off days to reflect and pray, read scripture, and socialize with family and community members.
Amish Old Christmas Celebration
Many Amish communities still celebrate Christmas on December 25th while also celebrating on the 6th of January.
The December 25th celebration is adopted from mainstream culture. While the date is adopted from the mainstream culture the festivities and traditions are not.
The Amish traditions on Christmas are much “simpler” and more focused on family gatherings and the religious meaning behind the day.
There are no Christmas trees or decorations in any Amish homes on Christmas morning, and Amish parents do not teach their children about nor do they believe in Santa Claus.
A Christmas service is held on 25 December, where the relevant texts and any scripture relating to Christmas get read in the service.
Christmas in Amish communities is a celebration focused on getting together with friends, sharing meals with community members, and visiting family.
On old Christmas, the day starts with a fast that usually ends around noon, and after, the family shares a big meal.
Old Christmas is a day to rest and take time away from chores, besides tending to livestock which needs to happen every day.
Many kids stay home or are sent home early depending on the community schools, while some schools are closed entirely for the holidays.
Many activities throughout the day of old Christmas vary in different communities. Some communities choose to get rest and cut out any hard work for the day, while others take the day to get any menial work done before having a meal with their families.
Many Amish holidays are spent eating and sharing food. So much food is shared between community members and families that kitchen storage boxes are filled for weeks after.
Some Amish communities celebrate with a serious tone, while some prefer a more joyous festive celebration.
Often, the tradition of the community is carried on through generations once set by elders and community leaders.
The Amish lifestyle and their traditions are always interesting topics to learn about and even more so to experience.
Many people have recently been gaining interest in the Amish community, and the Amish community in the U.S. has steadily been growing in recent years.
Interest in the Amish community and their traditions are shown through many people learning through tours or buying authentic products, such as wicker easter baskets from Amish families.
Amish holidays are a beautiful time to appreciate the faith and spiritual aspect of holidays. By spending time with family and community members and reflecting on your beliefs.
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