Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Number Of The Stars

Awhile ago, we were driving around with our friend Beverly, who was visiting. And she asked what is the meaning of all the stars on houses, barns, and yards. I think people not from this area are surprised when they see them, they are all over our area, and you can hardly go a block without seeing at least one. About 300 years ago, groups of religious refugees came to Pennsylvania, most speaking German. They collectively came to be known as "Pennsylvania Dutch". And they continued their tradition of painting large geometric patterns on their barns. A story slowly evolved that these were hex signs to keep evil spirits away, maybe because the word HEX means witch in German, but there is no proof of this. Experts actually disagree on the symbolism of the origional stars. Folk tradition suggests love, hope harmony, energy, and fire protection. Colors had significance, too. Blue for peace, green for growth, white for purity. Nowadays they are sold everywhere and just used for home decoration.


"He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit."
Psalm 147:5

27 comments:

Joanne said...

Two of my best friends have them on their houses. I think it looks awesome!
Blessings, Joanne

Regina said...

Your not kidding..I find this interesting! Well I liked your series and wish you a wonderful weekend-

reanaclaire said...

Someone told me that if the star is put upside down, it signifies some "not-so-good" sign?

SquirrelQueen said...

Great information Ginny. I sometimes see what look like Pennsylvania Dutch like symbols here on homes and barns but I have never researched the meaning. Those stars are very pretty.

You asked about a tablet. I have been researching them too but so far I haven't decided either. I have heard that Amazon is coming out with one later this year, I may wait and see what it looks like.

kanak7 said...

I thought stars were for Christmas decorations only. it's so interesting to see that stars aren't meant for 'occasions' only.

From the Kitchen said...

I know! I also remember as a child wanting my parents to get one to keep the evil spirits away from our house. It didn't happen and I could swear that, on occasion, there was an evil spirit--or maybe an evil sprite!!

Best,
Bonnie

Bobbi said...

Hi Ginny! I didn't know the story behind the stars. Very interesting... And I just read your last post about you touring the Poe house. I love doing tours like that. It must've been fun. I love the picture of you and Phil with Poe and I'm glad he settled down and wasn't so afraid after he found out it wasn't the real thing.. LOL. Hope you have a safe and fun weekend!!

Arti said...

Great pics Ginny! Your blog never ceases to amaze me... The variety of topics that you cover everyday is mind boggling... This is so new to me again! Loved it.
Many thanks for sharing this, have a fabulous weekend:)

Karin said...

Our God has numbered the stars and given them names! Love that Scripture! Have wondered if we call the stars the same names God calls them! I love stars of all shapes and sizes! Thanks for sharing your photos!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I think this a beautiful way to decorate your buildings year round.

Sandra said...

since hubby is PA dutch, every stubborn bone in his body, is PA Dutch, will ask him about this when he gets home. i have seen these type stars in the stores here but never on a house. we have giant geckos on our buildings, downtown and all over, made by artist, they made them for the Village of the arts and they caught on and now they are every where. i need to go find a few and do a post.

Chatty Crone said...

I have seen them like at stores and I have a blue star in my own room, but I never have seen one on a house down here. What a beautiful thing they represent - I had no idea. So full of information are you! love it, sandie

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

First off, the header star is breathtaking, is that a glass blown star?

you are a wealth of info, I learn something everyday visiting and the bible passage for today.

Annie said...

I love star motifs, no matter where they are found. They impart the idea of the presence of light. And after all, isn't that what He is all about?

SweetMarie said...

Great info, always learning from you. I do see stars in stores for decor, but not so much on outside of homes.

Stephanie V said...

Interesting idea of the stars. I'd heard of hex symbols but wouldn't have made any connection.

Remington said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing! I love to learn new things!

missing moments said...

Cool post Ginny! Hope you are staying dry and have a great weekend!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Stars alive! Look at all those!

S. Etole said...

You always share such interesting info with your photos.

Maple Lane said...

The stars are very nice and I enjoyed the history and the photos. Enjoy your weekend.

Sharon said...

I like the idea of having stars on the house or wherever!

Ginny, as far as my mifi is concerned, there is no change after all that messing around. Big waste of time! I live in the boonies and my service is sporadic at best. Have tried every other available option.

Fred Alton said...

I'm glad "He counts the stars and knows them all by name" and He knows my name too. ☺

LC said...

Liked the quick taste of local history and accompanying Scripture.

DawnTreader said...

These remind me of the stars we put up in our windows (inside) at Advent/Christmas time, symbols of the star of Bethlehem. That I think is originally a German Herrnhuter tradition.

Rose said...

I finally have one on my house...I had it for a couple years I think before we put it up. I just like them...

Deborah said...

That's interesting, my cousin, Barry from Florida asked me the same question, why does New England have so many stars!
xxoo
Deborah