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This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 
This article is about the Imperial holiday. You may be looking for the Star Wars Rebels episode of the same name.

"Today is Empire Day, celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the galaxy's salvation, when our great Emperor Palpatine ended the Clone Wars and founded our glorious Empire."
―Imperial Holonet anchorman Alton Kastle[7]

Empire Day,[1] also known as Imperial Unity Day,[8] was the day that Sheev Palpatine declared himself Emperor of the First Galactic Empire, bringing an end to the Clone Wars[1] as well as the Republic in 19 BBY.[9] Following that year, Empire Day became a holiday marking the anniversary of the rise of the Empire.[1] Festivities of the holiday included a parade on various Imperial-controlled planets, the playing of the Imperial anthem, "Glory of the Empire," as well as the airing of Emperor Palpatine with two Royal Guards at the Imperial Senate, but the footage used made the Emperor seem younger and more physically appealing than he actually was at the time of the speech.[1] Attendance to the festivities was mandatory.[10] On Coruscant, the holiday was the cap to a week of festivities known as Ascension Week.[11]

It was also the day Ezra Bridger was born,[1] and two days before the births of Luke and Leia Skywalker on Polis Massa.[9]

Unity Day also celebrated the camaraderie of its citizenry. Festivities of the event included grand military parades that showcased the might of the Empire's army and navy. Following the Battle of Hoth, the Rebel Alliance led an attack on a Unity Day parade on the Galactic Core planet Bar'leth. The strike was a calculated move by the Alliance, as the attack was witnessed by beings across the galaxy via the HoloNet; Alliance High Command hoped that their actions would gather more allies to the weakened Rebellion.[8]

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Behind the scenes[]

The real-world Empire Day was a holiday of the British Empire that was celebrated on May 24, the birthday of Queen Victoria, and is rebranded as "Commonwealth Day" in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations.[12] The premiere of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back in the British capital, London, was held on May 20, 1980, and the term "Empire Day" was used in the event's marketing.[13] As a royal charity premiere, it was attended by Princess Margaret and benefited children's charities.[14]

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