Posted: 04/25/2024

Frequently Asked Questions the Amish in Lancaster, PA

Putting some of your burning questions to rest.

The Discover Lancaster Visitors Center fields some pretty interesting questions. Among others, one of the oddest questions they have been asked includes “Where can I buy a live chicken?” We’re not entirely sure why someone would need to know that, but to each their own!

In order to put some of your burning questions to rest, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions received by the Visitor’s Center, along with their answers.

Is everyone in Lancaster County Amish?

No. Although "English" folk and the Amish live in tandem with each other, through roadside markets, greenhouses, on the road, and many more instances.

How can I tour an Amish person’s house?

Generally speaking, the Amish are pretty private people. They do not allow visitors to come into their homes to see how they live. However, there are places where you find out why and how they do the things that they do. You may be surprised that their kitchens are similar to ours. They are just powered differently.

The Amish Farm and House, the Amish Village, and the Amish Experience are great places to learn more about the Amish.

Where can I find the Amish?

Believe it or not, there actually isn’t any kind of observable Amish commune where you can find a bunch of Amish families living in close proximity to each other. They’re spread out on farms all over Lancaster County, so there’s no one right place to see them. Our best advice is to go check out the local markets scattered around Lancaster County, where Amish people like to frequent. Remember—they’re people too; they go about their days doing normal things like shopping and working.

If you would like a more curated experience, check out Old Windmill Farm where you can bake bread with the Amish.

I don’t want to see any “pretend” Amish. Where can I find the real deal?

The Amish you see around Lancaster County are authentic. You may see them working in their fields, or the young ones coming home from school on their scooters, or shopping in their favorite shops. They also shop at Costco, Target, and Walmart. You might even see them at one of the local Asian restaurants as well as the PA Dutch restaurants. I am sure you will pass them as they are traveling by horse and buggy.

The “pretend” Amish you might be referring to stems from television shows like Amish Mafia, but that is staged.

Can I live with the Amish to learn more about them?

No. You probably wouldn’t want to, anyway The Amish are early risers because they have a lot to accomplish in a day. They live a simple life with no electricity, air conditioning, phones, cars or tractors. They are Christians and their religious services are 3 hours long. They sit on wood benches the entire time and solemn hymns are sung slowly in German with no musical accompaniment.

Do the Amish vote?

Voting is viewed as a personal matter. The Amish men can vote and many of them do, if there is a special concern on the ballot.

Do the Amish pay taxes?

Following biblical injunctions, the Amish pay all taxes except Social Security. They view social security as an insurance rather than a tax.

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