Buddhism is practiced by most Laotians. Life in Laos beats to a rhythm set by religion. Alms are given every morning at 5 am in the hot season and about 6.30 when colder. Sticky rice is washed and soaked the evening before and cooked early the next morning. Sometimes it’s mixed with banana and wrapped in a banana leaf.
In Luang Prabang more than anywhere else in Laos, villagers and others who wish to participate, kneel on the ground, shoeless, and place rice and other items such as fruit and [not so healthy] sweets and biscuits into the bowl of every passing monk and novice.
On special occasions including when people are travelling, I buy food from the local village and go to my favourite temple, Wat That Luang. I place the food on a low table and offer it to the monk who chants and makes a blessing. He writes on a piece of thin copper and rolls it around a string which is tied around my wrist.
For me, it serves as a reminder of what’s important in life, how I want to treat others and what I want to accomplish.