The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, a ceremony that marks the start of a new presidency, is scheduled to take place on January 20 amid the political chaos in the United States. However, this time, the ceremony would be a lot different. From the COVID-19 guidelines to new security concerns to the guest list and cultural programmes, here’s everything you need to know about the big day.

When is Biden’s inauguration?

The inauguration ceremony of the 46th president of the United States is scheduled to be held on January 20, 2021. The parade will begin sometime in the early afternoon on January 20, around 2 or 3 pm ET, then continue for at least a few hours. The official swearing-in ceremony for both president and vice president typically begins around 11 am, followed by the president’s inaugural address.

Where will be the inauguration held?

The inauguration will be formally held at the US Capitol, the building which was stormed by the outgoing president Donald Trump’s supporters on January 7. Capitol is the place where the meetings of the US Congress and also the legislative branch of the country’s federal government. It is in Washington DC on the Capitol Hill.

Also read: Conspiracists and gun activists: The Trump loyalists who stormed the Capitol

What will happen at Biden’s swearing-in ceremony?

The swearing-in ceremony, which is themed “Our Determined Democracy: Forging a More Perfect Union”, will see Biden recite the presidential oath of office: “I do solemnly swear 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.” To know more about what will happen at the inauguration, click here.

Will Trump attend Biden’s inauguration?

No, Trump will not attend Biden’s inauguration. After Thursday’s political chaos, the outgoing president made it clear that he will not be attending the event in a Friday’s tweet. “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th,” he wrote on Twitter. The Republican leader is set to become the first president in 152 years, and only the fourth in US history, to eschew the inauguration ceremony of his successor.

How will be the security there?

Presidential inaugurations generally have top-notch security plans and this time it will be even more detailed after the mob attack at the Capitol. The DC National Guard, which was called in on 6 January, will also remain mobilised for 30 days, meaning they will be on hand for the inauguration proceedings to assist Capitol police. In addition to this, DC will still be under a state of emergency, ordered by Mayor Muriel Bowser amid the chaos.

What will be changed in view of COVID-19?

To avoid a big social gathering in view of the pandemic, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) will conduct a virtual parade across the nation, which will be televised and feature diverse, dynamic performances in communities across the country. 

Who all are invited?

JCCIC has said that invitations for Biden’s inauguration will be sent to members of the 117th Congress will be limited to themselves and one guest.

Can the public attend the inauguration?

Traditionally, members of the public request free tickets through the office of their US senator or representative, but not this year. Due to COVID-19 concerns, people won’t be able to get tickets, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) announced in mid-December. JCCIC had said that Biden and Harris’ inaugurations will be a low-key event restricted for the public, urging people to participate in the ceremony virtually.

Who are the performers?

Pop artists Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga will be among A-listers who will perform at the largely-virtual swearing-in ceremony. Gaga will sing the national anthem and Lopez will give a musical performance on the West Front of the US Capitol.

According to the line-up announced by the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC), Invocation would be given by Father Leo J O’Donovan. Pledge of Allegiance would be recited by Andrea Hall. Poetry Reading would be by Amanda Gorman. Benediction would be by Reverend Dr Silvester Beaman.

Hosted by Tom Hanks, the 90-minute “Celebrating America” inauguration show will feature more musical performances, from Jon Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake and Demi Lovato.

What will Biden do first after being sworn-in? 

The president-elect has earlier said that his top priorities include the fight against COVID-19. He has already announced a COVID-19 advisory board that consists of 13 public health experts. Biden has also unveiled a plan that aims to ensure the US achieves a 100% clean-energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050. During the presidential debate, Biden vowed that the US will join the Paris Climate deal again.