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Inauguration 2017

When is Donald Trump's inauguration as President? Everything you need to know as he takes office in 2017

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It's nearly upon us.

Soon Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States in a grand ceremony in Washington DC. So when is the event, and what are the traditions that surround it?

Presidents are sworn in on January 20 every four years come rain, frost or hail in an outdoor ceremony outside the US Capitol. It's surrounded by pomp and ceremony, quirk and intrigue, and an all-American parade.
Here's everything you need to know about the inauguration - and how you can watch.

When and where is the Inauguration?

The 58th Presidential Inauguration happens at 9:00 am on Friday 20 January.

The main ceremonies begin in the morning at the White House and end at a number Inaugural Balls across the city of Washington DC.

The most famous bit - Trump's 35-word swearing-in - will happen on a 10,000 square foot specially-built platform in front of the Capitol that holds 1,600 people.

Some inaugurations have been held at the White House but the modern tradition is to hold them outside the domed home of the US legislature.

What happens on Inauguration Day?

There are 9 traditions on the day that are regularly followed. Here they are, courtesy of information provided by the US government.

  1. A morning prayer: Franklin D Roosevelt began this tradition for the incoming President in 1933. Presidents Obama, Bush, Bush, Reagan, Truman and Roosevelt all attended theirs at the St John's Episcopal Church, across the street from the White House.
  2. The 2 Presidents join forces: The departing and incoming President have a brief meeting at the White House before travelling together for two miles to the Capitol, home of the US legislature and scene of all modern-day inaugurations.
  3. Vice President takes the oath: Vice-President-elect Mike Pence will be the first to repeat the oath of office, likely to be read to him by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, on the 'Inaugural platform' outside the Capitol.
  4. The President is sworn in: Here's the famous bit. All being well this will be outdoors too - though freezing weather has forced past Presidents indoors as recently as Ronald Reagan in 1985. Trump will likely swear on the Bible. The 35-word oath must be read exactly as in the constitution and in 2009 Obama took it again because a word was in the wrong place.
  5. The Inaugural Address: Every President since George Washington has delivered one, ranging from his 135 words to William Henry Harrison's 8,445 words in 1841. ( Expect history to be made. Roosevelt declared in 1933: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself". In 1961 John F Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
  6. Everyone say Bye Obama! With that the ex-President usually makes a swift and high-profile exit. Since 1977 this has happened by sending him into a helicopter, but it's also happened by train, car and jet.
  7. Time for lunch: A bit like a wedding, the formal bit's now over and gives way to a long afternoon of feasting and partying. The Inaugural Luncheon is held in the Capitol's grand Statuary Hall and includes speeches and food from the President's home state. New York pastrami anyone?
  8. The Inaugural Parade: The new President takes up his seat in the Presidential Reviewing Stand (yes, really) to review more than 8,000 ceremonial soldiers, floats and marching bands proceeding down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Think everyone from the Boy Scouts of America to several High School bands. Jimmy Carter broke precedent by joining the parade himself.
  9. And finally... Inaugural Balls: Washington DC's high society comes alive with the glitz and glamour of black-tie parties. It's exhausting for the President, who tries to attend every official do. The peak year was 1997, when there were 14 for Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama attended 10 in 2009. The number for Trump is still being worked out.

What else?

There are events on the day before and the day after Inauguration Day itself.

There's a welcome and a wreath-laying at the Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday.

Then there's an interfaith prayer service at Washington's National Cathedral on the Saturday.

And a few musical performances, of course.

What is the oath?

For the President: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

For the Vice President: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

How can I watch?

Your local new stations.

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