How Do The Amish Celebrate Thanksgiving?


By Tobin Dimmitt


With Thanksgiving less than a month away, some of you may be wondering how the Amish plan to spend their turkey day. After all, we know that Amish holidays differ greatly from most of traditional society, so that would lead one to believe their Thanksgiving holiday is also different. The fact is, however, that most Amish affiliations still celebrate this family and food oriented day much in the same way we do. Of course there are some notable differences, but Thanksgiving in Amish communities is quite similar to modern cultures. If you’re interested in learning more about how the Amish celebrate their turkey day, keep reading.



It’s important to note that not all Amish affiliations share the same beliefs or celebrate holidays in the same manner. While some may exchange gifts and presents on Christmas, others may refrain from doing so. Here in the U.S., there are roughly a dozen separate affiliations, all of which have their own rules and beliefs for holiday celebrations.


What Holidays Do Most Of The Amish Recognize?


As stated above, holidays recognized by Amish cultures depend on their specific affiliation or community. With that said, most Amish communities recognize Pentecost, Easter, Christmas, Ascension Day, Good Friday and of course Thanksgiving. These are generally considered religious holidays; therefore, communities observe and celebrate them accordingly. Of course there always exceptions to what holidays they recognize and how they celebrate them, but these are the most common.


Amish Thanksgiving


When Thanksgiving rolls around on November 22, most Amish communities will celebrate it by bringing their families and close friends together to share a good home-cooked meal. Depending on the size of the family, they will gather in the one of the largest homes of the elder to prepare a feast for everyone to enjoy. The women typically do the food preparations consisting of turkey, fresh rolls, dressing, corn, squash, carrots and a variety of vegetables. As you can expect, cooking enough food to feed a large Amish family takes a long time, and it’s not uncommon for the women to spend several days preparing and cooking the necessary food for Thanksgiving.


The good food doesn’t end with the main course, however. After everyone is done with their meal, several different desserts are laid out. Some of the most common include pumpkin pie, apple pie, cakes, brownies and cookies. Guests and family members who come over for the Thanksgiving feast will usually bring a side item or dessert with them.

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