The Day of the Dead, or Día de Los Muertos, has been observed in Mexico for centuries, honoring death as a part of the cycle of life, rather than fearing it.
No, it is not a coincidence that this holiday is timed to coincide with Samhaim, the ancient Gaelic festival marking summer's end, and the start of the year's dark half.
All religion has its roots in Mother Earth and Father Time, and most religions spike their celebrations off of ancient pagan rituals that started in forest, field, and fen.
The "Google Doodle" for today celebrates our dead dogs -- those beloved creatures whose passing reminds us that we too owe life a death (though hopefully not today).
The Power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling, 1865 - 1936Rest in peace my great dogs: Scoot, Barney, Haddie, Trooper, Sailor, Pearl, Mountain, and Gideon. Always loved, never forgotten
There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie—
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.
When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find — it’s your own affair —
But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear