The 300

A Halloween Wish


Steaming out of the past is Engine 300 from the Texas State Railroad.  I wonder how many ghosts still ride those rails?   It is Halloween after all.  Who knows?  More passengers might board every weekend than the conductor can see.  So, ride the rails in Palestine Texas, just make sure you offer some popcorn from the concession car to the “stranger” sitting beside you.

Halloween is one of the strangest holidays.  People like to get scared on purpose.  They dress in all types of costumes and seek adventures pretending to be someone or something they are not.  It’s a time of parties, like masquerades, where being anonymous and masked is not unusual.  But, it’s a time when being popular for the best costume is also a thrill.  People also travel great distances to get lost in spooky maize fields cut into labyrinths or go for a harmless scare at commercial “haunted houses”.

Indeed, this holiday has a long and storied past. Scholars believe it is from an autumn festival held by the druids in Celtic Europe before the times of the Catholic Church.  In fact, that’s when the colors orange and black became associated with Halloween.  The early, non-filtered honey wax candles the druids used during their celebrations for the dead where naturally colored in an orange hue.   Further, the ancient druids and Celts associated black with death.  So, both colors have lasted into modern-day and seen every year in decorations and holiday revelry.

Since that time it’s experienced several attempts at assimilation in the Christian faith as All Saints Eve or All Saints Day but never to the level as other holidays like Christmas.  It’s also seen periods of persecution as “devil worship” and even periods of huge popularity in its past.  Today, it revels as a fun holiday with large elements borrowing from other cultures.

For instance, Latino culture in the United States will often combine some of the rituals of American Halloween customs like “trick or treating”, with the family parties and celebrations of loved ones from the Día de Muertos holiday in Mexico.

So, we at A&A photographic Arts want to take the time to wish you and your family a Happy Halloween, Día de Muertos, or All Saints Eve/Day.  Whatever your culture or nationality, have fun and celebrate the living and the dead!

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