While about 60% of the people of Laos are Theravada Buddhists, many of us also believe in traditional spirits, known as pĕe or phi. Our exterior world of buildings, homes, festivals and daily rituals prominently reflects the rich significance of these inner beliefs.

Alms Giving

“Tak Bat” is an ancient daily Buddhist practice that involves devotees rising before dawn to cook sticky rice as a food offering to barefoot monks who walk in silence and meditation through the town.

The main intention is twofold: lay persons provide daily food for the monks and the monks in return bestow merit.


We Lao people ensure we take the time to celebrate properly.

From the regular Buddhist and animist festivals usually determined by solar and lunar calendars, to political holidays and more modern beer- and music-fueled events, take your pick and join us at the temple, the party or the street fest.

Buddhist Architecture

With Theravada Buddhism so central to our way of life in Laos, the temple is central to every village and suburb – not merely as a place for religious ceremony, but as a gathering place for the community. (A fact not lost on the many stray cats and dogs that take up residence there too.)

There’s a place for everything and everyone within the Buddhist built environment. 

Myths & Spirits

“For most Lao it is not a matter of Buddhism or spirit worship. Instead, established Buddhist beliefs coexist peacefully with respect for the pĕe that are believed to inhabit natural objects.” – Lonely Planet

The spirits of buildings, territories, natural places and phenomena are all about us. So too are the ancestral spirits that protect people, or the malevolent ones that bring about no good. We have ceremonies to please and appease them, and we celebrate our guardian deities at festivals throughout the year. 

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