Giving alms has been practiced by Buddhists for thousands of years and it is believed to be equal to doing good things, and will bring peace and happiness. Buddhist monks begin their alm rounds at the break of dawn and the people prepare food and water and wait for the monks to approach. Once the food and water have been placed in the bowl, the monk recites a prayer of blessing and places the lid on top. Buddhists usually give alms to honor a loved one who has deceased.
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Cambodian Buddhist monks celebrate Vesak Day in Oudong, north Cambodia, May 8, 2009. Vesak Day is held to honour the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha more than 2,000 years ago. (Reuters)
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Buddhist devotees light oil lamps at Gangaramaya temple on Vesak day in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday. The festival, celebrated on May 5, commemorates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha and his attainment of Nirvana. Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters
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Buddhism does not consider women to be inferior to men. They accept differences in the two sexes but believe they are all equally useful in society. Husband and Wife share the same responsibilities and should be companions. Their education is not restricted and they can participate in all Buddhist practices.