Although it’s a beloved American custom to hang stars from houses or barns, these stars are much more than just ornaments.
The stars signify something greater and more significant to the farmers than visually appealing objects.
Stars that are observed over a barn’s door actually have a rich historical background that goes back more than a century.
Because they date back to at least the 1820s in Pennsylvania, these striking stars, which can be crafted from metal or wood, are often referred to as Pennsylvania stars or primordial stars. Following the American Civil War, their renown grew even greater, and to this day, they are typically connected to wealth and luck.
Different star hues have their own meanings and significance and are associated with various things.
The custom endures as a reminder of culture and legacy, despite its decreased practical use over time.
White stars represent vitality and purity, while brown stars symbolize companionship and power. Meanwhile, the meaning of a violet star is holiness. The farm whose barn the star adorns is meant to be protected by the blue or black color.
Bright yellow stars represent the love between humans and the sun, while green stars represent fertility and growth for the crops growing on the farm.
German-American farmers thought that by putting the stars at the very top of their barns, they would be protected from evil spirits and have a better chance of having a bumper crop.
Sometimes, people place “hex stars,” which first appeared in the 1950s, in place of ordinary stars.
The Kuztown Folk Festival claims that in 1952, a guy by the name of Milton Hill initiated the change from barn star to hex star.
A Pennsylvania Dutch folk painter named Johnny Ott found that adding superstitious connotations to his signs improved their sales in the late 1950s. These hex symbols quickly made their way to other nations throughout the world.
Has a star ever caught your eye atop a barn?
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