The seven strangest SOTU rituals

1. Keeping Their Seats Warm (For Hours and Hours)

Members of Congress hoping to set up camp along the president’s path to the podium beware: You’ll have to claim your spot early — and in person. The rules stipulate that members may reserve their seats in the House Chamber only by physical presence. Unlike a movie theater, setting a coat or placard on the desired seat risks its removal by security. Some members reportedly wait as many as 10 hours to secure seats along the main aisle. But the reward just might be worth it: A good shot at a presidential handshake televised to the entire nation.