I know this is a large email, but hope you will enjoy it. I was lucky enough to be invited to a cremation ceremony in Bali, held only once every 3 or 5 years. It was fascinating, and colorful…not grim at all.
Just to give you an idea…
Three villages gathered their dead from the last few years, brought them to the cemetery where they first prayed, and then transferred the remains to various vessels, some of them large lavishly decorated animals. Others are more simple.
The most colorful part was the procession carrying the remains from the two neighboring villages, accompanied by local musicians. You can see the floats and the band in the pictures, as well as the long procession of women carrying offerings.
After all have gathered and the remains have been placed in the vessels ( I am not sure what to call them!), wood and favored artifacts of the deceased are place around the vessels and finally lit.
The following day, the ashes were taken to the sea, placed in green coconut shells and floated out to sea, as Balinese believe we come from water and go back to water when we die.
The photos are not in order, but I have included descriptions.