|Next to Buddhism, traditional beliefs influence people's life. These beliefs predate Buddhism. For ethnic groups in the mounainous North, they are even more influential, even tough Buddhism and traditional beliefs coexist quite free of conflict. You will see traditional beliefs above all in two moments: many Lao homes are guarded by 'spirit houses' where people worship the spirits by offering food. However, a general account can not be made as traditions and beliefs differ from ethnic group to ethnic group.
Nonetheless, there exists a common Lao ritual, which is widely practised throughout the country: the Baci. The baci ceremony will be done for any bigger change in people's life, that can be a wedding as well as the start of a big journey or the arrival of long absent guests. After a long Buddhist mantra, people tie white threads around the wrists of their opposite by saying wishes. Thereby they free the person from bad luck, which is replaced by good luck. The ceremony is closed by a common meal which can become a friendly party. If you take part in a baci and people tie threads around your wrists, you are supposed to keep them on your arms for three days before you untie them.