Why do Buddhists put food in front of the Buddha shrine?
I know a girl who is Buddhist and at her familys nail shop they have a Buddha shrine near the door. everytime I go there they have food and drinks....and sometimes even cigarettes! in front of the shrine where the Buddha statue is.
why do they do this?
Buddha tried to find Nirvana by fasting but after nearly starving to death he determined that torturing the body is not the way to enlightenment.
Buddhism is about ending suffering, not going out of your way to find it.
They also give up most of their worldly belongings to rid themselves of the constant longing caused by materialism.
It's an offering in hopes of being blessed. If it's in a business establishment, then the offering is in hopes of being blessed financially. Some people will place miniature Christmas trees on graves of loved ones, or little toys, special mementos, etc. in the belief that their dead loved ones are still alive somewhere and will appreciate what they do at their grave site.
I have seen cold moldy hot chocolate in a Styrofoam cup with stir straw.. you can see the mold floating on top.. its been there for years.. Very gross !!