You’ll often find viral videos of groups of Amish men raising up massive-sized barns and collectively moving them along large swaths of property.
But you might be surprised to find out that it’s not for convenience or efficiency. It’s actually an Amish tradition.
According to Family Handyman, the act of barn raising is a tradition referred to as “frolics.”
The purpose of a frolic is to find joy and value in cooperative work projects.
The social event focuses on the goal of building, rebuilding, or moving a barn. Everyone gets to work on the project together so everyone can feel helpful.
Since everyone is working on the project together, no one person has to work too hard.
It also allows the community to catch up with family, friends, and neighbors.
The tradition is believed to date back to the 18th and 19th centuries in rural North America.
It is given that if you help someone build their barn, you will be helped with building your barn.
Members of the community will trade materials and collective work to build the barn without pay.
It takes a lot of work but gets done a lot faster when the community works on it together.
This tradition still takes place today.
A video of a group of Amish moving a shed in May 2020 went viral with more than 5.4 million views.
The video shows a large group of dozens of men moving the barn that is raised by a wooden structure.
Someone calls out directions as the men move slowly.
The barn looks like a millipede with so many legs moving underneath it. There have to be at least 250 to 300 men moving that thing in the video.
You can see non-Amish people in the area looking on in awe and recording the ordeal. Many people in the comments of the video shared their own personal stories and experiences with barn raising and community projects.
“An English farmer allowed his main barn to be used as storage for straw by many local Amish in my county I was raised in, Ohio. The hay struck by lightning, destroyed the barn. The Amish shared the loss with the English farmer. A community came together. Many weeks of planning,” one commenter wrote.
“On a day in the middle of planting season, the Amish gathered on one morning, arrived at the English farm, raised and roofed and completely finished a modern two level barn with amazing precision, manpower and a work song by the Amish leader as the Amish labored through the barn raising. The English kitchen was fully modified to accommodate several hundred workers for one day. English and Amish labored and restored their shared lives in one day.”
Then there were the jokes:
“Officer, I can’t find my barn!”
“Well, it didn’t just get up and walk away”
Jokes aside, it’s pretty incredible to see a community come together to make something so massive happen.
Watch the video below!
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