Years ago, I walked into an Amish woman’s kitchen in Michigan, and it happened to be Valentine’s Day. I was traveling, doing what I used to do so much: visiting Amish communities. Is love in the air among the Amish on Valentine's Day? From this photo, it looks like it!
The smell of her kitchen was wonderful: hot glazed donuts coming out of the fryer and drying and cooling on a rack. Warm glaze was dripping off them.
But then something caught my eye as she cordially welcomed me in: the homemade donuts were heart-shaped on this Valentine's Day. Cute. I wish I had taken a photo!
That is an example of food being used to celebrate. But beyond that, the observation of the day is more muted. You won't find a "sweetheart dance" taking place in an Amish community hall, or see an Amish woman wearing a bright red dress. Valentine's Day is very "individualized" among the Amish with some Amish - I'd say the majority - not marking it at all, with others going all out! So if you are wondering how Amish Celebrate Valentine's Day, below is your primer!
How Do The Amish Celebrate Valentine's Day?
🌹 Wine & Roses?
Valentine’s Day is one of those “pop-culture holidays" that the Amish probably would never pay attention to on their own, but since the Amish don’t live in caves and they’re part of larger society, the same trends and traditions seep into their culture, especially if they are fun ones. And Valentine’s Day is a fun one! But generally, wine is not how Amish Celebrate Valentine's Day?
💑 Pop Culture Influences
The Amish are not complete insulated. They hear the 1-800-FLOWERS commercials on the radio advertising Valentine's Day roses, and they see the heart-shaped boxes of chocolates in the supermarket. Now, if you’re wondering if Amish couples are celebrating the day with the candlelight dinner, wine, and a bouquet of fresh roses, chances are the answer that question is no.
🙋 FAQ About The Amish and Valentine's Day!
Well, generally, the answer would be "no." Valentine's Day would seem to fall into the frivolous pop culture/commercialism category that many Amish would view with suspicion.
The Amish Cook's late husband Daniel was, however, an example of an Amish man who embraced the full spirit of the day. One year he made Gloria a lemon pie for Valentine's Day. So Amish men, especially younger ones, do observe the day with more fanfare.
The answer varies widely. Some more "romantic" couples may well exchange cards, probably homemade ones.
Generally, not roses or chocolates. An Amish man good with words might write a poem for his wife (which she would likely cherish). But even more likely would be a "housework coupon." The husband will do the dishes for a night or a week while the wife has a much-needed break. Or he packs the lunchpails for the kids school. A simple gesture of appreciation goes a long way.
🥰 Homemade Gifts
If an Amish man is woodworker or cabinet maker, he might make his wife a special trinket like this buggy with hearts.
Or perhaps the Amish man would make something more practical like a hat rack of magazine rack out of wood. An Amish woman might knit something for her husband.
💝 Romantic Foods
Like so many holidays, the Amish don't celebrate by spending money and going into stores and buying gifts, but they will celebrate through food. Valentine’s Day tends to bring out the “romance foods": homemade candies, decadent chocolates, big plump strawberries.
The Amish Cook ran a “sweetheart pudding “recipe a few years ago that they made just for the special day.
💌 Amish Youth and Valentine’s Day Cards
If Amish kids go to public school, and many do, especially in the larger Amish communities, you’ll see Valentine’s Day observed like anywhere else. That means children will give Valentine’s Day cards to one another other. Amish children will come home with Valentine’s Day cards from other classmates and that may be the first real exposure to the day that some Amish children experience. In that way traditions especially take root among the Amish
Even the Amish parochial schools, especially among the New Order, will at least recognize the existence of Valentine's Day by making cards for parents and other loved ones.