Friday, January 6, 2017


Today is our Old Christmas, which is on January 6th, twelve days after December 25 th Christmas. Not all Amish celebrate the Old Christmas, but we do.

Originally Christmas was on January 6th.  At that time the Julian calendar ( based on the phases of the moon) was in effect.  In 1582, the Gregorian calendar by Catholic Pope Gregory XIII was put in effect.  During the change of calendars, Pope Gregory deleted ten days, eleven minutes and fifteen seconds to realign with the seasons.  This moved Christmas from January 6th to December 25th. At that time, many of the protestant churches did not agree with the Pope's change and kept the Julian calendar. Eventually, the world has turned to the Gregorian calendar.  Amish brought Old Christmas, to this country, when we came to this country from 18th century Europe.

January 6th is the feast of the Epiphany, the day the wise men brought gifts to Jesus.  It is also our Old Christmas.  Our Old Christmas is similar to our December 25th Christmas except we fast from when we wake until noon.  We do not exchange gifts on this day.  Also, we do not open our businesses or exchange money on this day.  We only do the chores we have to on this day.

After chores, Anna and I will be spending the morning in Bible reading, prayer and singing.  Of course, Anna will also be preparing our meal for noon.  At noon, several of our children families will be coming for dinner.

When they arrive, before our meal, I will read a short passage from the Bible and we will have a short silent prayer.  After dinner, we will enjoy the afternoon talking, praying and singing.  This is a day of rest for us to enjoy being together.

Sometimes we go to our children's for Old Christmas.  As, this year, sometimes they come to our home.

Because of the commercialism of December 25th Christmas in the outside world, there has been talk among some Amish groups to make their Christmas January 6th and avoid December 25th.  Our Old Order Amish group still celebrate both Christmases.

Trust God's Wisdom,


Tom said...

I visited an Amish friend in Clyde yesterday, his family is going to his sisters home for Old Christmas. Marilyn, our fresh snow is beautiful.

New York State Of Mind said...

Good Morning Tom,
Oh, that's nice they are going to their sisters for Old Christmas. Snow looks pretty, but I don't like to drive in it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, Elmer. May this day be truly blessed for all.
Hi Marilyn, Guess you have some more snow out there! LOL Ah, yes, this is winter. Hope your car is doing a good job through the snow. I know you'll be careful. I don't mind driving in snow(being from CNY originally). But over here in eastern NY it's a different story- drier here and ice's a lot. Driving and ice do not mix!
Take care everyone! Blessings, Carol

littlemancat said...

Thanks for a very interesting post!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Elmer and everyone for an interesting post. I do enjoy this blog, and the connection with both Amish and Mennonite. Do you think Anna would permit you to take pictures of her kitchen and new stove? I would love to see it, as I use a wood cook stove myself. Also, maybe Elmer and Anna might tell of things their Amish group allow. My Swartzentruber Amish friends here in Mississippi use oil lamps, cook with wood cook stoves, and use coolers and basements for refrigeration. Just an idea. Thanks again for your hard work..........Tim in Mississippi

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Carol,
Will see that Elmer gets your message. Hope we are all Blessed today.

We didn't really get much snow. Maybe an inch. My car goes through the snow, so far. Driving on ice is terrible. I have been told that I drive to careful. It didn't use to bother me to drive in the snow, but it does now.

Blessings to you and yours,

New York State Of Mind said...

Hi Mary,
I will see that Elmer gets your message.