Formal Hall or Formal Meal is the traditional meal held at some of the older universities in the United Kingdom at which students dress in formal attire and often gowns to dine. These are held commonly in the colleges of Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews and Durham, as well as at the halls of Nottingham, University of Manchester and Bristol.
The nature of Formals varies widely between the colleges and halls that hold them. In some colleges, Formals may be held every night, and are simply a second sitting of hall at which gowns are worn and grace is read. In other colleges, Formals may be special events to which guests from outside the college are frequently invited, often with themes and associated entz or "bops". In between these two extremes fall the great majority of colleges.
The full name and abbreviations to describe the formals differ. Generally, though, they are known as: