What is Amish Barn Raising?

The Amish community comes together for a barn raising event to help those in need while enjoying socialization.

amish barn raisingGeorge Sheldon/Shutterstock

Amish Barn Raising

Community events are a great way to raise money, create camaraderie, and learn more about the people you coexist with within a school, work environment, neighborhood, religious sect, and more. They become weekly, monthly or even annual traditions to create structure and make the event more meaningful. For the Amish, one of these events is barn raising.

Barn raising is a type tradition the Amish refer to as “frolics.” These Christian groups find joy and value in participating in joint cooperative work projects. Barn raising combines socializing with a practical goal of building or rebuilding a barn, and allows for everyone involved to feel helpful. With all hands on deck, no one has to work too hard, while also getting an opportunity to catch up with friends and family.

One way for a family or group of friends to try out a group project would be to build one of these outdoor woodworking projects together.

The Amish barn raising tradition dates back to rural North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Because barns require a lot of lumber and labor, it made sense that the community came together to help build a neighbor’s barn. Naturally, the favor always came full circle, with everyone in the community helping each other.

Barn raising within Amish communities is still very much in practice today. Building barns still requires a lot of preparation and work, from clearing the ground to building the foundation and walls. The materials may be different today, but the commitment to the community effort has remained the same.

Most people who need to have a barn built or repaired pay for materials and hire someone to build it. But, within the Amish community, barn raising entails trading materials, and all members of the community helping without pay.

Like the idea of community? Grab some friends and try out these DIY storage shed building tips.

If all this barn talk has you dreaming of DIY barn doors, check out how to build a simple rustic barn door.

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Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com