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What Is a Moravian Star?

Winston-Salem has entered the Christmas season, which means Moravian stars are appearing in stores and on front porches. Even if you’ve lived here for a while, you may find yourself wondering, “What is a Moravian star?” Keep reading to learn about the history and significance of this Winston-Salem tradition.

Ken Manuel Moravian Stars
Courtesy of Scott Muthersbaugh via Vist Winston-Salem

What Do Moravian Stars Look Like?

The star traditionally features 25-26 points, though there can be up to 110 points. The first Moravian stars had alternating red and white points, but most stars nowadays are completely white.

The largest and best-known Moravian star in Winston-Salem sits atop Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and is 31 feet tall!

The History of the Moravian Star

The star began as a geometry project in Moravian boarding schools in 19th-century Germany. Over time, it became a symbol of the Moravian Church and the Advent/Christmas season. 

Julius Lineback, the grandson of Moravian grandparents who immigrated to America, was the first Moravian star maker in Winston-Salem.

The Meaning Behind the Moravian Star

In Moravian tradition, the star represents multiple concepts. Most prominently, the star is a reminder of how God’s light shines in the darkness. It also represents the star the wise men followed to Jesus in the Christmas story.

Where to Buy Moravian Stars in Winston-Salem

Old Salem Museums & Gardens

Dewey’s Bakery

Salem Creek

Wilkerson Moravian Bakery

 

Want to discover more holiday traditions in Winston-Salem? Check out our holiday event guide!

 

Moravian star in a wreath at Christmas Winston-Salem
View of the Reynolds Building and a Moravian star in a wreath at Christmas, 1967 – photo courtesy of Digital Forsyth

 

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