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Encaenia is an academic or sometimes ecclesiastical ceremony, usually performed at colleges or universities., . It generally occurs some time near the annual ceremony for the general conference of degrees to students. The word is from Latin, meaning dedication or consecration, and is ultimately derived from the Greek word 'εγκαίνια', meaning a festival of renewal or dedication, and corresponds to the English term Commencement.

The term was originally used to indicate the eight days of celebration for the dedication of the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which celebration covered also to the discovering of the True Cross by Empress Helena in 326. Because the church of the Holy Sepulchre was consecrated on September 13, 335, the Encaenia started on September 13, while the cross itself was brought outside the church on September 14 so that the clergy and faithful could pray before the True Cross (Feast of the Cross).

United Kingdom

At certain universities, Encaenia is an annual ceremony typically involving the presentation of honorary degrees to distinguished alumni and to distinguished personages from the worlds of arts and sciences. In most British universities, it corresponds to part of Graduation.

The most famous Encaenia is the ceremony at the University of Oxford, which usually takes place on the Wednesday of the ninth week of Trinity Term (i.e. a Wednesday in the latter part of...
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