20 Bizarre Amish Facts That’ll Make Your Skin Crawl
Amish weddings are often held at the end of fall and they are reluctant to display anything that can seem too extravagant. They use celery instead of flowers and the bride cannot wear a ring because it represents vanity.
The Amish do not use any kind of technology. They live without phones, internet, and even electricity due to their belief in “Gelassenheit” which means, “keeping the earth as God created it.”
New Couples Are Encouraged To “Sleep” Together
Astonishingly, young couples are encouraged to sleep together before their marriage. However, both are fully clothed and a wood board is placed between them to prevent any contact. By doing this they are encouraged to talk and get to know one another prior to their marriage.
As mentioned earlier, the Amish are not allowed to use modern technology but they can create their own “Amish Tech” respecting their beliefs and rules. In recent years the Amish have been using some technology but only for their businesses.
Once a couple starts their “dating” phase, they can go out only a few times before deciding if they will marry or not. Then the church will bless the engagement and the upcoming marriage. Marriage becomes official when it’s announced in their local newspaper.
Someone Who Breaks the Rules Will Be Considered as “Meidung”
With so many strict rules, it’s not rare for someone to be banned from an Amish community. Those people are labeled as “Meidung” (the shunning) and the only way to be accepted back again is by begging or to die and be buried back in their community.
Amish men are famous for having long beards but they are forbidden to use mustaches because according to their beliefs, they are seen as a sign of wealth and military, so their communities don’t want to be related with any of it.
After the wedding ceremony, guests are gathered to only congratulate the couple and offer their blessings to them. Then the just married pair will spend their first official night together at the bride’s family home.
Amish wear the same simple clothes that tradition has established for many generations. Therefore, they are not allowed to wear clothes with bright colors or any kind of jewelry (not even in their weddings)
Most Amish communities speak German, English, and what is known as Pennsylvania Dutch. English is used in school and business, they speak German in church and Dutch during their daily activities.
Although they are living in small communities, the Amish refuse any kind of genealogical testing that would tell them who is related to who because according to their beliefs, those tests are against God’s will.
The Amish Came From Switzerland During The 18th Century
The Amish escaped from Europe because they were victims of persecution, so they immigrated to America. They found they could live more peaceful in the United States and decided to make it their permanent home.
The Amish and The Mennonites
Both communities may feel offended to be mistaken for one another. The Mennonites (on the left) have not so restrictive rules as the Amish. In fact, they may wear clothes with brighter colors, and drive cars, and even use modern technology.
8th Grade Education
The Amish see no need in an education past the 8th grade because boys will decide what their craft is by then and the girls are expected to be housewives anyways.
Amish’s Worship Services Are Very Modest
Although they are a very religious community, the Amish do not have the need for extravagant churches. Amish prefer to just show their faith through “his” hard work and their way of living.
The Amish are not arrogant, in fact, they consider it as a sin. Therefore, they never judge or condemn any person or the modern society for their lifestyle.
The Amish Population is Growing
Because Amish people get married so young and normally have many children, their communities have a steady growth rate of 3.6% per year.
The Average Amish Couple Has Between 5 and 7 Children
Amish families do not use contraceptives (because it is against their beliefs) which results in having large families. The Amish aim to have many children as possible.
Amish Women Are Considered As 2nd Class Citizens
Due to their old-fashioned/restrictive traditions, women are considered and treated as 2nd class citizens. In consequence, girls are only destined to become housewives and that encompasses cleaning, cooking, and raising the children.
Jakob Ammann is Considered As The Father Of The Amish Religion
Jakob Ammann was a Baptist priest who began the Amish movement when he decided to leave Switzerland and other Christians joined him. In fact, the word “Amish” comes from his last name.
Believe It Or Not, The Amish Don’t Care About Being Photographed By Others
The Amish don’t take pictures of themselves and they don’t keep any in their homes, but they don’t care if other people take photos of them.
Building Barns is An Opportunity For Socialization
Building barns is one way the members of the Amish community can pass the time together to socialize and share stories.
The Amish Are Pacifists And Never Will Serve in The Army
The Amish do not believe in any kind of violence. Therefore, no Amish men are allowed to join the army. If they do so, they will be banned from the community.
There Are More Amish People Living in America Than You Might Guess
There are reportedly around 300,000 Amish people living in the US. Most of the Amish population is located on the East Coast of the United States.
The Amish Church Wait Until A Person is Old Enough To Make The Decision To Be Baptized
Unlike Christian churches, the Amish believe in waiting until a person is old enough (between ages 16-24) to be baptized.