Alms or almsgiving is the respect given by a lay Buddhist to a Buddhist monk, nun, spiritually-developed person or other sentient being. It is not charity as presumed by Western interpreters. It is closer to a symbolic connection to the spiritual and to show humbleness and respect in the presence of normal society.
The Baci ceremony is central to Lao culture. Performed by a respected elder of the community, the Baci bestows good will, good health, and harmony to individuals or to a group. The Baci is performed at all traditional Lao festivals and celebrations.