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Herrnhuter Moravian Christmas Stars

They bring a magical light into your home and have been making the darker season more bright for two centuries: Moravian stars are a lovely Christmas tradition, which is popular not only in Saxony, where it originated.

During the 18th century, the members of the Moravian church had to flee from their home region in Moravia and Bohemia. They found a new place to stay in the German region Upper Lusitia. Here, they settled and founded the village of Herrnhut. The village served as a home base for their world wide missionary activities. With their parents not around, the children attended a local residential school, which took care of their education and upbringing.

This residential school is where the Moravian Christmas stars made their first appearance. They served two purposes: One was that it helped the children to understand geometrical figures better. The other one was to keep them busy during the time of Christmas, when they often missed their parents most.

The Herrnhut-children kept the tradition of Moravian advent star making alive after their school days and brought them in their own families. In 1925, one member oft he community protected the original Herrnhuter stars with a patent. From there on, the production started and the Moravian advent stars were also sold outside of the region. The star is a symbol of the Bethlehem star, which plays an important role in the Nativity story.

The stars have had the same design since then: 25 spikes are attached together and make the unique form of the stars. While the first Herrnhuter stars or Herrnhuter Sterne as they are called in German were made out of paper, there are Christmas stars available today that are made out of plastic and therefore suitable for outside use. All stars are still produced in the town of Herrnhuter by hand. From there, the Moravian stars are delivered world wide and became a part of many Christmas celebrations.

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