The Story Behind Moravian Star Decor
If you’ve ever seen a beautiful, glowing star hanging on someone’s porch around Christmastime, you may have wondered what it meant or what it was for. Chances are, it was a Moravian star. While these stars used to be displayed only by Moravian households, Moravian star decor has now been popularized in many other communities and can be found year-round.
What Is a Moravian Star?
The Moravian star is a decoration seen around Christmas that traditionally has 26 points. The stars look quite complex, but they are actually formed from only two shapes: a sphere or polyhedron, and dozens of identical pyramids that form the stars’ points. Most Moravian stars also have a light source inside to make them glow.
The History of Moravian Star Decor
The Moravian star was first seen in Germany in the 1830s at the Moravian Boys’ School. It is thought that it began as a lesson on symmetry and geometry. The star is a symbol of Jesus, who came into the world to be the “light of men.” The points of the star radiating out from the center represent Jesus’ universal love and concern for all of mankind.
This sentiment is echoed throughout Advent and the Christmas season as a time of giving and helping others. Over time, the Moravian star became a symbol of Christmas, representing peace and hope throughout Moravian and non-Moravian communities.
Types of Moravian Stars
Moravian stars come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The majority of the stars are white or off-white, but they can also be found in yellow, red, gold, and even blue. While the traditional Moravian star has 26 points, you’ll also find 20-pointed varieties for sale, as well as stars with up to 100 points.
Most Moravian stars are made of paper, wood, or plastic. Building them has become a time-honored tradition, and the best stars are locally-made and hand-assembled.
When Should You Hang a Moravian Star?
Everyone has their own opinion about when you should start hanging up Christmas decorations. Some people decorate every year the day after Thanksgiving, while others wait until the week before Christmas. Everyone has an opinion on when Christmas decorations should come down, too.
According to Moravian tradition, the star should be displayed from the first Sunday in Advent (the fourth Sunday before Christmas) until Epiphany (January 6). That being said, many people find the star so beautiful that they hang it on their front porch or in a window all year long.
Decorating With Moravian Stars
Moravian star decor has become a staple around Christmastime, both in and out of Moravian communities across the country. Because of their simple but intricate design, these stars can fit in with a number of holiday decorating styles. Here are a few ideas to get you started with your Moravian star decor:
Silver and Gold
White lights, gold accents, and a display of white and yellow Moravian stars makes for a simple but stunning holiday decor style.
This Scandinavian style has been rising in popularity over the last few years around the holidays. Greenery, natural textures, and soft, glowing lights all look at home in this Nordic-inspired style.
Colorful & Eclectic
If you march to the beat of your own drum, don’t be afraid to go for a more non-traditional Christmas look! Pair colorful Moravian stars with other bright, eclectic pieces for a one-of-a-kind Christmas decor style. After all, the Moravian star is all about celebrating everyone and every style.