And since death is a part of life, it makes sense that people all over the world, from all different cultures and backgrounds, have their own holidays set aside to honor those who have passed on.
Japan This Buddhist holiday has been celebrated in Japan for 500 years. Families gather to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones, and then release lanterns to help guide their spirits. The holiday also features a traditional dance.
(Photo Flickr / talloracle)
Ghost Festival, China This festival lasts a whole month! In traditional belief, the seventh month of the lunar calendar is the time when spirits roam the Earth. To appease these ghosts, people burn offerings for them and leave out food.
(Photo Flickr / Bernard Oh)
Cambodia This is one of the most important festivals in Khmer culture. People visit their local temples to pray and make offerings to the dead. Afterwards, everyone celebrates with buffalo races and wrestling.
(Photo Flickr / Mark Roy)
Mexico This holiday dates back to the Aztec Empire, and over the centuries, it's blended with the Catholic All Souls' Day to become a colorful celebration of the dead. On this night, families gather to clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones. It's also known for its skeleton decorations, candies, and elaborate costumes.
(Photo Flickr / Byron Howes)
United Kingdom Okay, this holiday is less about death and the dead, but it still involves fire and dressing up, and it takes place in the fall. November 5 is the anniversary of when Guy Fawkes tried (and failed) to blow up Parliament. He's burned in effigy while people parade around wearing masks. (Photo Flickr / Shane Global)
Bali In Balinese tradition, this is the night that ancestral spirits return to their homes. And they're looking to be welcomed and entertained, or else they'll haunt the place! To keep that from happening, huge feasts are prepared in their honor.
(Photo Flickr / m4she.3d)
Nepal Gai Jatra is a festival that honors cows, but it also serves as a time to honor the dead. Cows are paraded through the streets of Kathmandu -- as are children dressed up as cows. The parade is believed to help guide spirits into the afterlife.
(Photo Flickr / onnola)
Malaysia The Mah Meri tribe in Malaysia, who make up a small minority of the country's population, celebrate their dead with a day of dancing that's steeped in tradition. Shamans offer blessings before the ceremonies begin.
(Photo YouTube / Manaweblife)
Korea Chuseok is a three-day harvest festival, but it's also the holiday during which Korean people honor their ancestors. Each year, about 30 million people in Korea visit the hometowns of their ancestors to pay homage. People pray, clean the tombs of their immediate ancestors, and offer them food and drink.
(Photo Wikimedia Commons / Nesnad)
India (and the Hindu world) On this day, Hindu people honor their ancestors as far as seven generations back -- which is a really long time. They begin by bathing in sacred ponds and rivers, and continue by offering prayers and food to their ancestors as they return from the afterlife for the night to feast.
(Photo Wikimedia Commons / Firoz Shakir)