"In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence."
~ Ephesians 3:12
I've often been asked, "Do the Amish celebrate the Fourth of July?" So, it is timely to address that question in this blog.
In general, the Amish don't typically observe the holiday. However, it is up to the individual family as to whether or not they will participate in actually celebrating. Many of my Amish friends do attend parades (especially in Holmes County, Ohio) and some even set off fireworks or watch them from their porches, and/or enjoy a picnic with their family.
Amish businessmen (and women) often will close their shops for the Fourth to have a "vacation" day or even take off the entire week. Others wouldn't think of doing that.
I remember seeing young Amish women tending roadside stands on the Fourth of July, selling donuts and other pastries to help tourists "celebrate" the holiday.
Remember, too, that Pennsylvania Amish adhere more often to tradition (the Old Ways), while Amish in the Midwest are typically more progressive.
Celebrating in a variety of ways can indirectly demonstrate appreciation for America's birthday and the freedoms it affords. But most Amish I know believe they are sojourners on this earth, simply passing through on their way to heaven. So, they do not embrace or get involved with the government or its secular holidays. They do, however, celebrate Thanksgiving, (wedding season in Lancaster County and other Plain communities), Christmas, Second Christmas (only in certain communities) and New Year's Day. Also, it is quite the norm for Amish in a church district to celebrate Good Friday (a day of fasting and prayer), Easter, Easter Monday, Pentecost Sunday, Whitmonday (day after Pentecost) and Ascension Day.
You may certainly have personal experiences with the Amish, regarding the Fourth celebrations, that are similar or different from this blog, which I would love to see. Do feel free to comment on my Facebook page and I'll respond.
Now, I'd like to wish you a very safe and happy celebration of our God-given freedoms this Fourth of July, dear friends!
1) I'm already promoting The Heirloom and loving it—less than 3 months till release date: September 12.
Little by little, I'll continue to share photos and give you more tidbits on what Ella Mae Zook (the Wise Woman) is up to in this heartwarming prequel to The Shunning. (However, you don't have to have read that book and its two sequels to fall happily into the Amish community of Hickory Hollow. The Heirloom can be very much enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.)
2) My sister, Barbara, and I are offering 2 new summertime cards this month: "Strawberry Jam" and "Summer Blessing." These Amish-related cards won't last long, so order yours today at: http://www.amishcheer.com (I love that tire swing, by the way! A reminder of happy, summertime hours of my childhood.)
3) I really appreciate your daily comments on my Facebook page, your lovely remarks (and questions about Amish life) via PMs, and your faithful prayers, especially now as Dave and I prepare my longtime friend's—Martha's—home for sale. You are all so very thoughtful and kind.