To say that Jan. 20, 2017 will be a big day is an understatement. While the presidential inauguration is always a momentous day, this year America will swear in the shock winner of the 2016 election, Donald Trump. Jan. 20 at noon is the official time when the presidency and vice presidency pass from the current holders of the office to the newly elected ones. Though the constitution only requires a short oath to be recited to seal the transfer of power, the inauguration has become a ceremonious occasion, with a schedule to match.
The day consists of the swearing-in ceremony, a luncheon, and the inaugural parade. The ceremony takes place on the steps of the Capitol building. Each president puts their own twist on the swearing-in ceremony, often inviting someone to speak: In 1993, Maya Angelou read a poem at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, for example. She was the first poet to be included in the ceremony in more than thirty years, and also the first African-American or woman to read at the event. It's hard to imagine Trump following suit by picking a prestigious and potent social voice to speak for his victory.
The president and invited guests then gather for the inaugural luncheon. Following the luncheon is the inaugural parade. The parade route goes from the Capitol to the White House. In both 2009 and 2013, President Obama and his family exited their motorcade and walked along the parade route, waving to the thousands of people who had come to get a glimpse of the First Family.
This election season was as partisan and bitter as any in recent history, and its conclusion has left shockwaves across the globe. And while the divide between the political parties seemed to reach new lows during the past year, hopefully, this day will serve as a symbolic start to a more peaceful and collaborative chapter in American politics.