Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Moravian Cookies!

Christmas is soon and the Moravian cookies are here.   I get them in the mail every year from Howard's sister.  A little family history is necessary here.  Catharine was younger than Howard.  When their mother was pregnant, Howard was told a baby was coming.  He always pronounced it "bobby" and called her Bobby when she was born--others took it up, and she is still Bobby today..especially in the family.  Howard and Bobby grew up in Clemmons, North Carolina. The Moravian cookies are made by hand in Clemmons by Mrs. Travis Hanes, and her crew of workers.  They are very thin, crispy, and ginger-y, and they come in a wonderful bright red tin with a plastic resealable strip.  There is nothing quite like them!

In Clemmons, nearly everyone is a Moravian.  Moravia was once a part of Czechoslovakia, and the Moravians are an old Protestant denomination. They predate the Reformation.   The Moravian faith was originally formed by John Hus whose protests and teachings caused him to die a martyr's death at the stake on July 6, 1415.  His followers formed the first fully organized Protestant church in 1457, which they called the Unity of Brethren.  They were persecuted, driven from their homes, and imprisoned.  They migrated to Germany and were protected there by Count Zinzendorf, who was interested in their beliefs.  While in Germany they were referred to as "that religious group from Moravia" and so they became known as Moravians.  When they came to American and settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina they were proud to be called Moravians.  Clemmons is near Winston-Salem.

I thought a painting of a red round cookie tin might be a little "ho-hum," so I rested a Moravian star ornament on the tin and included that in the painting.  The Moravian star is three dimensional and usually illuminated.  It is used in holiday festivities connected to the Advent season.  This is a good time to make a little painting of my humble version of it.

1 comment:

  1. Carolyn--Thank-you for this! I love the painting, and of course the stories, both of our family & of the Moravians :-) You warmed my heart today!