November 01, 2017
The celebration likely has pre-Christian roots. During the Aztec month of Miccailhuitonli (say that 10 times while spinning around), there was a festival presided over by the "Lady of the Dead" which was dedicated both to children and the dead. Originally, this was celebrated in the summer, but there was an understandable post-colonial shift.
Now the festivities usually continue for the first two days of November and include acts that symbolically welcome the dead back into their homes and visiting family graves. There's special food including "pan de muerto" or bread of the dead. Family altars and gravesides are decorated with religious objects and symbolic offerings of food flowers and even alcohol and cigarettes.
I think the basic idea is right on, i.e. that the living and the dead are connected. That idea is enshrined in the ancient creeds of Christianity, which speak of "the communion of saints."
Maybe that's because the dead aren't quite as dead as we tend to think or the living aren't as alive as we tend to think. I'll leave that to the reader's discretion...
(This came from a blog post here from 10 years ago. Recycling.)
October 30, 2017
This never would have happened when Arpad the Magnificent, protector of poultry, was alive.
The life lesson here, apropos of nothing is that when the good guys go away the predators move in.