Key business and ceremonial events - both regular and occasional - punctuate the parliamentary year.
The State Opening marks the beginning of the parliamentary session. The monarch formally opens Parliament, delivering an outline of the Government's proposed policies and legislation for the coming session in the Queen's Speech.
The end of a parliamentary session is known as prorogation: the period between the end of a session of Parliament and the State Opening of Parliament that begins the next session.
The Budget is presented to the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer each year. MPs debate the proposals and scrutinise the Finance Bill which brings them into law.
During times when Parliament is not sitting, the Government can ask for the House of Commons to be recalled. The House of Lords is usually recalled at the same time.
A Parliament is the period of parliamentary time bewteen one general election and the next. Each Parliament is usually divided into five parliamentary years called 'sessions', beginning and ending in the spring.
Dating back to the Middle Ages, a service at Westminster Abbey, and a reception at the Houses of Parliament, heralds the start of the legal year
A State visit is often marked by a speech given to Members of both Houses of Parliament by the visiting head of State or Government.