Wherever you move, you never want to seem like an outsider (even if you are, at first). Instead, you want to be someone who knows and respects the location’s culture. If you’re moving to Pennsylvania, you are in for some pretty particular (sometimes funny) traditions and ways of living that residents of the state cherish.

If you’ve been searching for a fun and practical guide to living in Pennsylvania, you’ve found it in this blog post. Here are three things you should know to get started on becoming a Pennsylvanian:


1. Holidays are celebrated a bit differently.

Holidays are special because every family and culture practice their own unique traditions. However, these “unique traditions” are taken to another level in Pennsylvania. Here are just a few:


Halloween isn’t always celebrated on the 31st. 

As the state’s website claims, “no one does Halloween like PA.” Several towns throughout the state celebrate the holiday earlier than the 31st, and others have Halloween-themed parades throughout the month. 

If you’re a big fan of the holiday, you will have a chance to celebrate several times by hopping from town to town to maximize your candy haul. 


The strawberry drops on New Year’s Eve.

We all know that the ball drops on NYE in New York, but have you ever heard of the strawberry drop in the Pennsylvania capital? If that isn’t strange enough for you, consider the other townships where a beaver, a pickle, and a giant Hershey’s kiss have all been dropped to mark the start of a new year. 


The first day of hunting season is basically a holiday.

Although it’s not official, the first day of deer hunting season is treated as a holiday. The hunting culture is so prominent that many school districts do not schedule classes on the first day of the season. 


Everyone spends Christmas at Peddler’s Village. 

Peddler’s Village is a popular destination for residents of the state. Depending on the season, residents enjoy scarecrow contests, the Apple Festival, and craft fairs, but Christmastime is really when the holiday ambiance and epic shopping draw in crowds from around the state.


2. Some seasons are tough, but the scenery is always stunning.

Speaking of the holiday season, be prepared for snow when living in Pennsylvania. Here are some averages from across the state

  • State College: 43.8 inches
  • Pittsburgh: 44.1 inches
  • Harrisburg: 29.9 inches 
  • Philadelphia: 23.1 inches

If you muster up the courage and put on enough layers, you can spend time in the beautiful winter landscape by taking a trip to the Pocono Mountains. If a winter hike isn’t for you, be sure to visit the mountains during warmer seasons.

Don’t let the winter bother you too much—the rest of the year makes living in the state worth it. In fact, there’s no better state to experience the oranges, yellows, and ambers of autumn. And with the season comes all things apple: cider, pies, and many other treats.


3. Food isn’t taken lightly.

In fact, food is serious business in Pennsylvania. Here are just a few unique ways the state approaches food:


It’s the pizza capital of the world.

Or at least, this is what many residents claim. Although Chicagoans and New Yorkers might have a different opinion, the statement is a testament to Pennsylvanians' commitment to the dish.

​​In northeastern Pennsylvania, a slice of pizza is called a “cut," and you order a “tray” instead of a “pie.”


Convenience stores have great food.

While the rest of the country has prepackaged snacks and hotdogs on heating rollers, gas stations in Pennsylvania are popular stops for a quick to-go meal. 

The state is split between Sheetz and Wawa, which offer sandwiches, burgers, fries, appetizers, and a variety of drinks. 


Pork and sauerkraut are good luck on New Year’s Day.

New Year’s superstitions are common in cultures throughout the world. In Pennsylvania, residents eat pork and sauerkraut for good luck.

This is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition based on the fact that pigs root forward, symbolizing forward movement for the year. The cabbage represents bounty. 


No one cooks as well as the Amish.

The state is home to the second-largest Amish population in the country. Residents travel from across the state to eat the delicious food cooked by the Amish. And at select farmers' markets, residents can purchase homemade goods, vegetables, and even handcrafted furniture. Residents travel from across the state to eat the delicious food cooked by the Amish. At select farmers’ markets, residents can purchase homemade goods, vegetables, and even handcrafted furniture.


Make the Right Connections Before Moving to Pennsylvania

Of course, there are many more things to consider before moving to Pennsylvania, such as the prominent sports culture and the wealth of history throughout the state. 

Before you hit the road, it’s crucial to have the right resources by your side. When you’re ready to buy a home, speak with a Loan Officer at radius to learn about the ins and outs of the homebuying process.

Not ready to talk to someone just yet? Get your copy of our guide, Why Become a First-Time Homebuyer in Pennsylvania?

Guide for First Time Homebuyers in Pennsylvania