A lot of people often wonder, do the Amish celebrate Thanksgiving? The answer is a little bit more complicated than just yes or no, because it is a secular holiday, it depends on what community of Amish they live in. I interviewed Mel Riegsecker, the founder of Riegsecker Marketplace, who grew up in the Amish church!
So do they celebrate?
Mel said that it varies by community who celebrates Thanksgiving and who does not, because it is a secular holiday. I think that a lot of the Amish here celebrate Thanksgiving at least in some way, because they have time off from work. However, depending on the community they might not act like anything is different and just treat it like a usual day.
How do they celebrate?
Again, how or if they celebrate varies by community. Mel said that when he was younger, he would often take the day off and go hunting in the morning, as would his family. He said he wasn’t sure if a lot of the Amish do that, but that is how his family celebrated Thanksgiving. They also tend to spend the day together with friends and family.
Mel said that when he met his wife, June, and her family, he was shocked by the amount of work that they did on Thanksgiving! They got together with family and worked like crazy to get the house and food all ready! Now, they have annual family reunions around Thanksgiving time.
Although Thanksgiving is celebrated in different ways between the different Amish communities, most communities seem to celebrate it at least in some way. Whether it is just being with family, eating a large meal, or just spending the morning hunting, there is a lot of ways that the Amish celebrate Thanksgiving!