By Laura Oliverio and Kyle Almond, CNN
President Joe Biden is hosting a state visit this week for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and a lavish state dinner was held Thursday night at the White House.
This is the third state visit of the Biden administration. The first, for French President Emmanuel Macron, came in December and brought back a tradition that hadn't been seen since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited in April.
A state visit is typically a multiday affair that includes formal ceremonies, meetings and a dinner.
The first state dinner is historically considered to be the one held in 1874 by Ulysses S. Grant for King Kalākaua of Hawaii. It featured multiple courses and expensive table settings.
In the early days, state dinners were, more than anything else, a chance for a president and first lady to showcase their hosting skills. As the United States became a global power, the attractiveness of getting face time with a US president became crucial — both from the American perspective and from other parts of the world.