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 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:
Jacqueline Gaines, the photographer who captured the image above, also left us some great information about it:
Trevor Owens, one of my colleagues at the Library of Congress and on this project, contributed another house display right here on Capitol Hill:
Trevor had this to say about the display, whose subtleties might not be apparent to folks from other parts of the country:
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:
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!