Death in Mexico lacks the solemn, powerful and funereal feeling that it generally has in other countries, especially in Europe. In Mexico it is part of everyday life. As a common facet of life, it is treated with familiarity and, in a unique way, celebrated. It is regarded as a fundamental part of life, not as the end of existence. Death - of parents and relatives, friends, even animals - is acknowledged and honored by being presented in a joyful, entertaining way. This is a joyous time when for a few hours the souls of the dead are invited back and briefly enjoy the pleasures they were accustomed to in life. These important festivities are equally observed by rich and poor, across all class lines, as people share in essentially private, family feasts - family reunions which include the departed, returning from another world.