In hinduism, when people pass away, their bodies are cremated. A pile is made with wood, scential oils and ghee. On top of it the body should be burned for 24h, non-stop.
Any remaining part of the body after 24h of fire is then throw in the water of the river. I heard that for men, usually the heart is left and for women, the hip bones.
It is a very quiet ceremony, where most of the time the males of the family take part. Nobody is allowed to cry, because this might prevent the souls of the people to reach nirvana.
Nirvana is like the highest state of the soul in hinduism, it is a place of eternal rest and prevents the resurrection of your soul.
Before setting the pile on fire, the body (which is covered in a white fabric with colorful pieces on top) is washed three times in the Ganges to remove the sins of the person.
The Ganges River is the holiest place for hindus in India. I am not sure but I think you could also see such ceremonies in other -not so holy- rivers. Usually people travel from all over India to the North to make the last wish of their beloved ones come true.
Fires are day and night. When I visited, I saw more than 30 at once.
It was very peaceful somehow. Definitely an unforgetable experience.
I did not take photos of the ceremony because of respect but here one of the river.