The Timeless Charm of the Moravian Star: History, Meaning, and Decoration Tips

Few holiday decorations are as striking and versatile as the Moravian Star. Whether perched atop a Christmas tree, hung from a porch, or illuminating a window, this multifaceted star adds a touch of elegance and tradition to any setting. In this article, we’ll explore the history of the Moravian Star, its meaning, and how you can incorporate it into your holiday décor. We’ll also answer some common questions about this iconic decoration, such as when and where to hang it, and where to buy a Moravian Star Tree Topper.

What is a Moravian Star?

The Moravian Star, also known as the Herrnhut Star, is a multi-pointed star that originated within the Moravian Church community in the early 19th century. Typically, these stars feature 26 points, but variations with different numbers of points exist. The star’s unique geometric shape, often crafted from paper or plastic, is designed to be illuminated from within, casting a warm, inviting glow.

This star is not just a beautiful ornament; it’s steeped in symbolism and tradition. For the Moravian Church, the star represents the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the Wise Men to the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Over time, the Moravian Star has transcended its religious origins to become a popular decorative item for people of all backgrounds, symbolizing hope, peace, and the joy of the holiday season.

The Origin of a Moravian Star

The story of the Moravian Star begins in the early 1800s at a Moravian boys’ school in Germany. Legend has it that a mathematics teacher introduced the star as a geometry lesson (Click and learn how to DIY a Moravian Star). The students created the stars from paper, and their intricate designs quickly captured the imagination of the Moravian community. The stars soon made their way into homes and churches, where they were displayed during the Advent season.

In 1856, the Moravian Church established a mission in Herrnhut, Germany, and the star became closely associated with this settlement. The Herrnhut Star Company, founded in 1880, began producing the stars commercially, helping to spread their popularity beyond the Moravian community. Today, the Moravian Star is recognized worldwide as one of the symbols of the Christmas season.

Can non-Moravians hang a Moravian Star?

Absolutely! In response to this question, we interviewed some people living in the Moravian community and they are not at all persnickety about such things. They are generous and hospitable and don’t mind other people participating in their customs. While the Moravian Star has its roots in the Moravian Church, its appeal transcends religious boundaries. Many people, regardless of their faith or cultural background, appreciate the star’s beauty and the warmth it brings to their holiday decorations. The star’s association with the Star of Bethlehem makes it a fitting addition to Christmas celebrations, but its meaning of hope and peace is universal.

Whether you’re looking to honor a tradition, add a unique touch to your décor, or simply enjoy the star’s aesthetic appeal, you’re welcome to hang a Moravian Star in your home. The spirit of the Moravian Star—bringing light and joy to the darkness of winter—is something everyone can appreciate.

When should you hang a Moravian Star?

Traditionally, the Moravian Stars go up the first Sunday in Advent and then come down the first Sunday in Epiphany. However, there’s no strict rule about when you should display your Moravian Star.

Usually, it turns into more, “Oh shit, I forgot to put the star up” mid-December and then sometime in late January, “Oh shit, I forgot to take the star down.” The star’s warm glow and symbolic meaning make it a beautiful addition to your home, no matter when you choose to display it.

Can I hang them all year round?

Yes, this is also common in the Moravian community. Some people leave one up year-round only to admire the beauty of the Moravian Star. So, you can certainly keep your Moravian Star up year-round if you wish. While it’s most commonly associated with Christmas, its beauty and symbolism are timeless. Many people choose to incorporate the star into their everyday décor, using it as a unique light fixture or a decorative accent in their home.

By incorporating the Moravian Star into your year-round décor, you can enjoy its beauty and symbolism long after the holiday season has ended.

Where to buy a Moravian Star Tree Topper?

If you’re looking to add a Moravian Star Tree Topper to your holiday decorations, there are several places where you can find these beautiful ornaments:

  • Old Salem: If you’re local to Winston-Salem, most definitely in Old Salem. There are plenty of other retailers around town (and local artists and artisans) that will have them on hand, but probably only during the holiday season.
  • Online Retailer: If you’re out of town, you can easily buy it at the Cyraft shop. It is available in many sizes and uses a remote control for multiple color variations. And it is easy to install. Moreover, it folds up so they don’t take up so much room in storage.
  • Moravian Church Shops: If you want a paper one for indoor display, some local Moravian churches have members that make and sell them as a fundraiser.

When buying a Moravian Star Tree Topper, consider the size of your tree and the overall style of your decorations. Whether you prefer a classic white star or a colorful, illuminated version, there’s a Moravian Star out there to suit every taste and budget.

Decoration Tips for Moravian Stars

Moravian Stars are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your holiday décor. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this beautiful ornament:

1. Tree Topper

The Moravian Star makes a stunning tree topper, adding a touch of elegance and tradition to your Christmas tree. Choose a star that complements the size and style of your tree, and secure it firmly at the top. An illuminated star can create a beautiful focal point, casting a warm glow over your tree and the surrounding room.

2. Hanging Decorations

Moravian Stars can be hung from ceilings, porches, or even trees in your yard. Use a clear fishing line or decorative ribbon to hang the stars at varying heights, creating a cascading effect. This is a great way to add visual interest and a sense of whimsy to your holiday décor.

3. Window Displays

Hanging a Moravian Star in a window allows its light to shine both inside and outside your home. Use a suction cup hook or a sturdy adhesive hook to hang the star securely. This placement not only enhances your indoor décor but also adds a festive touch to your home’s exterior.

4. Outdoor Lighting

Durable Moravian Stars made from plastic or metal are perfect for outdoor use. Hang them from trees, porch eaves, or garden stakes to illuminate your yard and create a magical holiday atmosphere. Make sure to use weather-resistant lights and secure the stars properly to withstand winter weather.

5. Year-Round Décor

As mentioned earlier, Moravian Stars can be enjoyed year-round. Consider incorporating them into your everyday décor by using them as unique light fixtures or decorative accents. Their timeless design and warm glow make them a beautiful addition to any room


The Moravian Star is more than just a holiday decoration; it’s a symbol of hope, peace, and tradition that has been cherished for over a century. Whether you’re drawn to its historical significance, its symbolic meaning, or simply its aesthetic appeal, the Moravian Star is a beautiful way to enhance your holiday décor. From tree toppers to window displays, this versatile ornament can be used in countless ways to bring warmth and joy to your home. So, whether you’re a long-time admirer or discovering the Moravian Star for the first time, consider adding this timeless decoration to your holiday traditions. Click here and get it now!

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