images of the crossing over

Formal meal trays

Trays for the formal meal (bal-u gong-yang, 발우공양). 

Called “side-dish tables” in Sino-Korean (chan-sang, 찬상), the empty trays arrive first in a stack. The head of the hall sets lays them out in the middle of the room and places the side dishes–pickled cabbage, one fresh dish, and one salted preserve–on the trays before then moving each tray to its position on the rows where the nuns sit for formal meal.

These trays contain only the preserved dish, in this case a cucumber pickle, and the shared chopsticks and spoon used to place side dishes in a nun’s personal bowls.

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