On the Day of The Dead, when the skeletons of the dead appear out of the ether, it turns out they're not slimy and gross as you may fear. In fact, they're rather dapper and clean, bones dry and slick, well dressed. Some may even be wearing three-peice suits with a bow tie, black felt top hat and smoking a cigar! Yeah man, calaveras are pretty cool!
You see, these creepy characters actually smile, not grimace. They're not here to scare you... they know you, and you know them. The dead are your family, and you're here for a visit. They will gently play with your children, and have tea on their grave with you. They might have some dinner you brought, and enjoy a few shots of that fine Patron tequila you have hidden from the kids in your Mexican blanket... all while reminiscing the past, laughing at the funny moments, remembering the good times... just like family.
It's the Day of the Dead, after all... a time to celebrate with lost relatives, no matter what physical or esoteric state they are in. All preconceptions of death are put aside and actually celebrated to enjoy a day with the lost. It's unfortunate this only happens once a year, but our loved ones fear they'll be rejected if they are seen in their normal skeletal facade during the other 364 days... there's something about Catrinas, Sugar Skulls and deathly looking calacas (skeletons) walking around in fine clothes that is unsettling to those not 'in the know'.
So we wait all year long to see them again, and the celebration is large... worldwide in fact... it's the the day the majority of the entire planet dresses up in skull face and builds shrines to the dead... we are a strange creature for doing these dark rituals... but damn, is it ever cool!