Ascension Day: What to Know About This Interesting Amish Holiday

Many people visiting Shipshewana are not aware of the Amish holiday of Ascension Day. Ascension Day is an official church holiday in the Amish communities. I interviewed Mel Riegsecker, a local man who grew up Amish, and also is the founder of Riegsecker Marketplace, about Ascension Day.

What Is It?

Ascension Day is an Amish church holiday, and it takes place 40 days after Easter. Jesus rose up to Heaven 40 days after he rose from the dead (or Easter), and that is what the Amish celebrate on this day.

As talked about in Acts 1:9, “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” This verse in Acts discusses Jesus rising to Heaven. I know that this holiday is celebrated around Shipshewana, and I think that it is a nation-wide Amish holiday.

What Do They Do?

On Ascension Day the Amish take off from work and their children also do not go to school. Fun fact, the Amish children take up so much of the population of the local schools that even the local Shipshewana school of Westview closes down on Ascension Day!

They spend time with their families and friends and remember what Jesus did for us, and his rising up to Heaven. Mel also mentioned that when he was younger, they would often fast in the mornings during Ascension Day.

Ascension Day is not a typical holiday among us “English” folk, but it is widely celebrated among the Amish in our area. I like the idea of celebrating when Jesus ascended up into Heaven and would be happy to celebrate a day about that. Come join us in Shipshewana and see how the Amish celebrate Ascension Day!

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