The Herrnhut Star

Where do the famous stars come from?

The Herrnhut Star, the Advent Star, the Christiansfeld Star – the famous Moravian Advent Star that decorate many buildings at Christmas time has many names.

According to tradition, the star is hung up Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent, and after service time on this Sunday, the light in the star is lit. It is removed again on Epiphany, the 6th January.

Today the stars are produced in the German Moravian town of Herrnhut in Saxony, where it has been produced since 1894.

The Advent Stars are available in different colours and sizes in Christiansfeld Centret, in the shop of BDM called "Karibu" and in various shops in town as well as several webshops.

The history of the star

The Advent Star is said to stem from the Moravian town of Niesky, where a teacher of mathematics in 1773 gave a lecture on geometry at the boarding school for boys. He had the boys draw the pyramidal points in their exercise books and used the shape of the star to deepen the boys’ understanding of geometry.

Since then several stories tell how the boys each year at Advent time produced stars of cardboard and hung them up in the classroom with candles in them in memory of the Saviour who was born under the Star of Bethlehem on Christmas night.

The star has 25 points: 17 with a square foot (the long points) and eight with a triangular foot (the short points).

In adulthood, a former pupil from the boys’ boarding school in Niesky got the idea of packaging and distributing the stars and established the factory in Herrnhut – and after that the star became a huge commercial success.

The star can be seen all year round in Christiansfeld, among other places on top of the ridge turret of the Moravian church.

The Herrnhut Star. Photo: Christiansfeld Centret
The Herrnhut Star. Photo: Christiansfeld | Museum Kolding
The Herrnhut Star. Photo: The Moravian Church
The Herrnhut Star. Photo: The Moravian Church
Logo Herrnhut star