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Submit Your Día De Los Muertos and Halloween Photos! #FolklifeHalloween2014

Día de los Muertos 2014 (Day of the Dead, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA USA) Photo by Ken Lee Shared to Flickr with a Creative Commons License.

Día de los Muertos 2014 (Day of the Dead, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA USA)
Photo by Ken Lee
Shared to Flickr with a Creative Commons License.

 

If you’ve just subscribed to our blog, or missed some of our previous posts, let me fill you in on one of the American Folklife Center’s projects: we’re collecting 2014 photos of Halloween, Día de los Muertos, and other holidays that fall at the turn of October to November.  Although we collected hundreds of photos between October 22 and November 5, we know there are hundreds more out there!  We hope you’ll consider sharing yours.  We’d love to see your photos on Flickr with the #FolklifeHalloween2014 tag and a Creative Commons License between now and the end of the year–December 31, 2014.

To that end, here are the sites you need to read:

The full description of the project is here.

Step-by-step instructions are here.

Also, if you’re interested, selections of images we captured are here and here.

The image above was contributed by Ken Lee, who also left us a paragraph of explanation:

Día de los Muertos is about gathering families and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls and the favorite foods, beverages, and affects of the departed. This is one of my favorite holidays. I find it touching, sweet, beautiful, creepy, funny, and more, depending on the presentation and aesthetic and sense of humor the people have. The antique approach of the photos bring sense of timelessness, and often enhance the macabre quality of people in the portraits.

Historians trace the origins to indigenous observances 2500-3000 years ago ago as well as to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.

Below are a few more outstanding images.  Wouldn’t you be proud to have yours beside these?  First off, here’s an impressive Halloween display from New Jersey:

Lambertville, NJ puts on an annual Halloween event that brings in people from all over NJ. This particular display is in front of a house on North Union Street, which is owned by Edward and Dolores Dragon. Dolores is an artist/art teacher and she designed and handcrafted every one of these characters. During the evening hours, this display is lit up with black lights making the entire presentation glow.   Photo by Jacqueline Gaines Shared to Flickr with a Creative Commons License.

North Union Street, Lambertville, New Jersey
Photo by Jacqueline Gaines
Shared to Flickr with a Creative Commons License.

Jacqueline Gaines, the photographer who captured the image above, also left us some great information about it:

Lambertville is one of the most beautiful towns in NJ — situated on the Delaware River. This wonderfully quirky/artistic community puts on an annual Halloween event that brings in people from all over NJ. This particular display is in front of a house on North Union Street, which is owned by Edward and Dolores Dragon. Dolores is an artist/art teacher and she designed and handcrafted every one of these characters. During the evening hours, this display is lit up with black lights making the entire presentation glow.

Trevor Owens, one of my colleagues at the Library of Congress and on this project, contributed another house display right here on Capitol Hill:

D.C. Spider on a Rowhouse, Washington, DC, November 3, 2014.  Photo by Trevor Owens.

D.C. Spider on a Rowhouse, Washington, DC, November 3, 2014. Photo by Trevor Owens. Shared on Flicker with a Creative Commons License.

Trevor had this to say about the display, whose subtleties might not be apparent to folks from other parts of the country:

Found on F St. NE, a few blocks away from Union Station. This custom built spider is colored red and white to match the D.C. flag displayed on its abdomen. Its legs appear to be constructed of PVC pipe. As shown, the spider is tied to the front of a rowhouse covering most of the front window.

What’s the season without a few whimsical costumes?  I went out on Halloween night, to capture some shots of trick-or-treaters on Capitol Hill.  It turns out squid costumes were all the rage in Washington this year:

An adult squid and some squid kids star in these two photos by Stephen Winick. Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, October  31, 2014. Shared to Flickr with a Creative Commons License.

What costumes were trendy or particularly creative in your neighborhood?  We’d love to know!

That’s a rundown of just a few photos from this growing collection.  We’d love to include yours as well.  Just share them on Flickr with the #FolklifeHalloween2014 tag and a Creative Commons License–we’ll do the rest!

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