Introduction of Seowon

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Hyangsa is a memorial ceremony for Master Seoae and Suam, praising their deep studies. As the biggest event in Byeongsan Seowon, the ceremony is held twice a year: in Spring and Fall. The date of Hyangsa is on Jungjeong, a lunar calendar day in the mid-week of March and September.

A day of Ipjae is a day before Hyangsa. By 3 o'clock, every members of the ceremony arrive at Seowon.
This ceremony is held in the evening of a day before Hyangsa. Except newly appointed directors and members of the ceremony, people appoints staffs for certain parts during the ceremony.
Geunbong is a ceremony of checking foods held in Jojiksa after Bunjeongrye. People checks foods in accordance to the specfic lists and ties them with Hanji(Korean traditional papers) written as "Geunbong".
  1. Moving foods
    • People moves foods to the shrine after Geunbong. Confucian teachers and students line up in the eastern part according to their ages and officials for the ceremony and members stand in another part according to their levels.
  2. Jinseol
    • Master of the ceremony and elders in the family enter Jondeoksa and prepare a table.

The ceremony begins at about 7 o'clock. Members should wear a formal dress: officials wear their uniform with hats and shoes, holding official tablets. Other members and participants wear robes and hats.

Main event of the ceremony is like below:
The ceremony begins with bows of officials. Choheongwan(an official) burns incenses 3 times for the memorial tablet.

  1. Choheonrye
    • A guide guides Choheongwan to offer a drink and Chukgwan(an official) reads a written ritual prayer.
  2. Aheonrye
    • A guide guides Aheongwan(an official) to offer a drink.
  3. Jongheonrye
    • A guide guides Jongheongwan(an official) to offer a drink for the main tablet. Bunheongwan(an official) burns an incense and offer a drink for the sub tablet.
  4. Eumbokrye
    • Chukgwan leads Choheongwan to taste the foods from the ceremony table.
  5. Mang-ye
    • This ceremony is burying the written ritual prayer. After Chukgwan buries the ritual prayer, a guide announces that Hyangsarye is over. After officials leave according to the guide, Chukgwan and members bow and leave. Finally, guides bow and the main event of the ceremony is over.
  6. Eumbok Gaejwa(tasting foods from the ceremony table)
    • After Hyangsarye, members taste foods from the ceremony table in Ipgyodang(a hall). Also, they discuss whether the ceremony is held right in accordance to the traditional ways. Since the discussion is over, members for next Hyangsa are announced and Eumbok Gaejwa is over.
  7. Cheonmang
    • Cheonmang is the process for electing members for next Hyangsa. Byeongsan Seowon opens a committee for it 10 days before Hyangsa and announces the list after the discussion during Eumbok Gaejwa.