Imperial Ascension Day
|Imperial Ascension Day|
|Observed by||Empire of Austenasia|
|Significance||Anniversary of the start of the reign of Emperor Jonathan I|
|Celebrations||Various, including military parades and the granting of honours by the Monarch|
Imperial Ascension Day is a public holiday in the Empire of Austenasia. Currently celebrated on 20 January, the holiday celebrates the anniversary of the incumbent Monarch's ascension to the Throne. It is not to be confused with the Feast of the Ascension, also celebrated as an Austenasian public holiday; within the Empire, the term "ascension" is officially used in favour of the more common "accession" in regards to a person becoming Monarch.
The holiday was established on 14 January 2014 - less than a week before its first observation - by the Public Holidays Act 2014, with the provision that the date would change to reflect the jubilee of Jonathan's successor after his reign comes to an end. Although the holiday has only so far been officially celebrated during the reign of Jonathan I, the anniversaries of the ascension to the Throne of his two predecessors as Emperor were also observed in an informal manner, whereas the anniversary of the start of the first Emperor's reign was the same as the anniversary of the foundation of Austenasia itself.
Imperial Ascension Day has been celebrated eight times since its creation. 2014 and 2015 saw the Emperor have a formal celebratory meal with the Prime Minister, and military parades held in the Emperor's honour in New Richmond and Terentia. The holiday has been used as an occasion for imperial largess: in 2014 the Emperor gave out various titles, as well as gifts of chocolates, and 2016, 2018 and 2019 each saw knighthoods bestowed. 2015 also saw the publication of an official portrait of Jonathan I, which he used for the following two years. 2019 and 2020 both saw the Emperor have a celebratory meal with his fiancée Princess Consort Hannah.
Observance of the holiday in 2017 and 2021 was relatively low-key, although in the former year the Emperor revealed on the Empire's official Facebook group that he had received flowers from the Princess Consort to mark the occasion.
Since the establishment of the Austenasian Senate on Imperial Ascension Day 2018, the holiday has been used as the annual occasion on which the Monarch addresses the Senate with a speech reporting on the state of the Empire under their reign, reflecting on the year past, and reviewing plans for the coming year.