November 5th, 2014
It is always fun watching the TV to see different countries across the globe welcome in the New Year. Generally only the larger cities get a mention such as Auckland, Sydney, Tokyo, Athens, London, New York and LA but I wanted to know who celebrates the New Year before everyone else.
I did some research online and my findings were that Kiritimati (or the Christmas Islands to you or me) is generally considered the first place in the world to see the dawn of the New Year. It appears that with GMT daylight savings adjustments, the Christmas Islands can be as much as UTC/GMT +14 hours. Someone please correct me if I am wrong about this as it is a tricky subject as there are some anomalies. For example, it seems Australia has vertical and horizontal time zones which only exist in the summer, and other countries such as India and Nepal are UTC/GMT +5:30 and UTC/GMT +5:45 respectively, which do not conform to the standard integral numbers.
It also seemed appropriate to research the last country to welcome the New Year too. Samoa takes this title as they are UTC/GMT -11 hours. Interestingly, as Samoa and the Christmas Islands have a 26 hour difference, the 2nd of January has arrived in the Christmas Islands before New Years day has in Samoa! There are two land masses in a separate UTC/GMT -12 hour zone, but as they are uninhabited there is nobody to see in the New Year after the Samoans. I would like to go and live on these land masses and rule my own time zone. Anyone is welcome to join me.