Today is La Toussaint in France, a national holiday. Although Toussaint is a combination of the word tous ("all" in French) and saint, meaning "All Saint's Day," it is also "All Soul's Day." La Toussaint is closely related, in intent and spirit, to the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration in Latin cultures. It is a day to remember, celebrate, and honor departed loved ones and ancestors.
In France, people visit cemeteries to have picnics and to tend to the graves of family members and decorate them with chrysanthemums, a flower symbolizing death (a symbol shared with Day of the Dead); generally, the French do not use this flower for any other purpose.
Visit the Père Lachaise website for an absolutely fantastic virtual tour. You can wander around the beautiful serene avenues, admire the sculptural tombstones, or search graves by name!