In this village festival in Cambodia, people are celebrating Buddha’s birthday. Monks receive gifts of rice
Where is Cambodia? You probably don’t fancy eating elephant, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, boar, hyena or… human! These are the meats that Buddha (the man who founded Buddhism) told monks not to eat. He believed they were especially bad for their souls. About 2,500 years later, most Buddhists still don’t eat meat. They belive it’s wrong to kill or hurt living things.
Buddhist monks aren’t allowed to keep or cook their own food – and rely on handouts from other people. Sometimes people may give them meat if that’s all they have to offer.
In some Buddhist countries, Buddhists don’t eat the ‘five pungent spices’, which include onion and garlic. This isn’t because they’re smelly! They believe that strong foods like these make you angry and create bad karma. ‘Karma’ means action. Buddhists believe that all the good and bad things you do contribute to your karma. They also believe that your life doesn’t end with death – you have future lives, and doing good things in this life will improve your karma in the next life.