Groundbreaking is a traditional ceremony in many cultures that celebrates the first day of construction for a building or other project. Such ceremonies are often attended by dignitaries such as politicians and businessmen. The actual shovel used during the actual groundbreaking is often a special ceremonial shovel meant to be saved for subsequent display. Commemorative information may be subsequently engraved on the shovel.
Ceremonial groundbreakings often precede the actual start of construction by many months.