Who is allowed to celebrate New Year’s Eve first?
… again and again the question arises. For 24 hours, people crossover into the new year all around the globe. Therefore I invite you on a short journey through the time to the peoples of our earth (all times are based on the CET).
31.12., 11.00 hours: Kiribati, Pacific
This answers the question where New Year’s Eve is celebrated first. The small archipelago or rather the 32 atolls belong to the Christmas Islands and is inhabited by just 100,000 people.
The special feature: in the middle of the island state runs the date line. Specifically, it lies between the Gilbert and the Phoenix Islands. Until 1995, this meant a separation of the island state, as the date line ran through the middle of the island. The decision of 1995 marked the strongest shift in time respective date line and followed the government’s advice to orient itself towards the West. In consequence the island of Kiribati is geographically east of the date border, temporally however belongs to the west and is, regarding the time line 14 hours ahead of Germany.
Samoa (fantastically beautiful islands in the Pacific, partly under the American flag) follows at 11.00 am
at 2:00 pm Sydney (the fireworks over the Habour Bridge is legendary)
at 4:00 pm: Japan and Korea (a temple bell hits 108 beats; New Year’s Eve is celebrated for 9 days and includes a dangerous Japanese meal dumpling called Monchi)
China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore will follow at 5:00 pm (before the festival begins, all houses in China will be thoroughly cleaned and red-golden goodwill messages will be distributed in the house, doors and windows are kept wide open to let in the New Year).
at 18.00: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
at 19.30: India
at 22.00 hours: i.e. Moscow and St. Petersburg (according to the Julian calendar, some Orthodox churches celebrate the “Old New Year” on January 13).
at 23.00 hours: Greece, Bulgaria, Latvia, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt (spice breads are baked and a coin is hidden in it for the lucky finder)
at midnight: i.e. GERMANY, Spain, Italy (red is the predominant color among the Italians and the Spaniards like to eat one grape for each of the 12 chimes)
On 01.01., 01.00 hours: i.e. Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal (without Azores), Morocco
While German households on New Year’s Eve regularly enjoy hugh expensive fireworks, in the UK on New Year’s Eve hardly anyone dies so. Instead a similar big spectacle takes place here already on November 5th in memory of the failure of the so-called “Gunpowder Plot”.
01.01., 02.00: Regions of Greenland, Azores
01.01., 03.00 hours: Regions of Brazil (here you wear mostly white – in the sense of pure – clothing and who can afford it, enjoys dancing samba rhythms on the beach).
on 01.01. at 4 hours: i.e. Argentina, Uruguay (here it is custom to initiate a white confetti rain simulating snow)
on 01.01. at 5.00 hours: i.e. Bolivia, Chile, Newfoundland and Labrador (in Chile a colourful celebration is essential to have good luck, this includes wearing yellow or pink underwear)
on 01.01. at 6:00 am: New York and many other US states (legendary is the glittering parade at Times Square)
On 01.01. at 7:00 am: Costa Rice, El Salvador, Mexico
On 01.01. at 8:00 am: parts of Canada
• 5 hours New Year’s Eve Party: The entire nation of the United States celebrates from 6:00 am to 11:00 am, while Hawaii and Alaska will start of the New Year’s event
• Time Zone Hopping: The only region in the world that has NO time zones is the Arctic; a time zone free area. However, if you would continue the zones to the South Pole, it would be possible to cross all time zones with just a few steps.
Finally, a personal anecdote:
When my husband and me were on honeymoon sailing across the Pacific 34 years ago, the crossing of the date line was of course also a memorable moment. Especially when a lady next to me asked, “… does that happen every year?”. Well, … with the leap year, a date line crossing has, of course, nothing to do. But who wants to so (in theory) can cross the imaginary border line back and forth as often he/ she wants. Then it even “happens” several times a day.
This artificial but meaningful time border holds another phenomenon. Depending on whether you follow the globe in easterly or westerly direction, you can experience a day twice or not at all. During our eastern route there was one day in February – paperwise – simply missing. The number of hours were of course adapted every day by the respective clock change (always backwards), which means the days before were just longer ….
Well, whether you are in Venice or Beijing … transfer happy and safe into the New Year.
P R O S I T 2 0 2 0 !!!