December 31 is just a few hours away and the whole world prepares to welcome the New Year. Several events occurred in 2017, some happy, some sad, some innovative and record-breaking, some would benefit different cultures while some will improve communication and facilitate trade. There are so many things to be thankful for in 2017 and so many things to look forward to in 2018. Let's all welcome the New Year with renewed hope that things will be better than last year!
On the subject of welcoming the New Year, do you ever wonder which countries greet the New Year first and which country welcomes the New Year last? Does it not stir your curiosity? While you may be celebrating New Year's eve in your country, some parts of the world are already doing something on the first day of 2018. Other people however would be still preparing to say goodbye to 2017.
Did you know that you could spend New Year's Eve twice? If you live in the border of some of the countries that belong to a different time zone than yours, you'll be able to do so.
To satisfy our curiosity and hopefully give you some facts and trivia to share with your friends, here's a rundown of the first and last countries to welcome 2018.
Different time zones
Obviously, there will be countries that will welcome the New Year first due to different time zones. The world is divided into 39 time zones, so you are looking at 39 groups of countries observing the New Year in chronological order.
We will be using UTC or the Coordinated Universal Time, which is the standard time that is used across the globe. The world's timing centers keep their time synchronized closely with this standard.
Basing on the 39 different local times, welcoming the New Year will take a total of 26 hours from the first group to the last group.
1. Apia, the capital of Samoa, Kiribati, the Christmas Islands and Kirimati. These islands are in the Pacific Ocean. When this group celebrates New Year's Eve, it will be 5:00am, December 31, 2017 in New York; 10:00am, December 31, 2017 in London and 9:00pm, December 31, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Time is UTC + 14.
2. Chatham Islands in New Zealand, (UTC + 13.45). It is an archipelago consisting of about 10 islands and a population of around 600. The archipelago is located east of New Zealand's South Island. The Māori call it the Wharekauri while in the indigenous Moriori language, it is called Rēkohu, which translates to Misty Sun.
3. Wellington in New Zealand, Tonga, the Phoenix Islands of Kiribati, Scott and McMurdo stations at Antarctica-South Pole, Fiji and Tokelau (UTC + 13). Tokelau is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean and a territory of New Zealand, it has a population of about 1,500. Its colonial name is Union Islands.
4. Chukotka and Kamchatka in Russian Far East, Nauru, Tarawa in Kiribati, Wallis and Futuna, Marshall Islands and Tuvalu. (UTC + 12)
5. Hobart, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney as well as the Norfolk Island (Kingston) in Australia; Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Pohnpei in Micronesia, Vanuatu, Bougainville in Papua New Guinea and Srednekolymsk, Magadan and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in Russia. (UTC + 11)
6. Adelaide, Australia (UTC + 10:30)
7. Brisbane, Australia, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, Guam, and Komsomolsk-na-Amure, Birobidzhan, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in Russia. (UTC + 10)
8. Alice Springs and Darwin in Australia (UTC + 9:30)
9. Tokyo, Japan; South Korea, East Timor, Ambon, Jayapura in Indonesia, Palau; Blagoveschensk, Chita and Yakutsk in Russia and other areas in this time zone. (UTC + 9)
10. Eucla in Western Australia (UTC + 8:45). It is the easternmost locality in Western Australia and has a population of 86.
11. North Korea (UTC + 8:30)
12. Perth, Australia; Brunei Darussalam, Mongolia, Bali, Indonesia; Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Shanghai, Beijing, Mongolia; Irkutsk, Bratsk and Ulan-Ude in Russia and other regions within the time zone. (UTC + 8)
13. Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo and Kemerovo in Russia; Christmas Islands, Java, Indonesia; Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand. (UTC + 7)
14. Cocos or Keeling Islands, a territory of Australia located in the Indian Ocean; Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). (UTC + 6:30)
15. Almaty, Kazakhstan; Astana, Kyrgyzstan; Diego Garcia, Chagos Islands (British Indian Ocean Territory), Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Omsk, Russia. (UTC + 6)
16. Kathmandu, Nepal (UTC + 5:45)
17. Sri Lanka, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi in India. (UTC + 5:30)
18. Kerguelen Islands (located at the southern Indian Ocean, also called Desolation Islands), Maldives, Aqtau and Aqtobe in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; Islamabad in Pakistan; Tyumen, Orengurg, Kurgan, Ufa, Perm, Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg in Russia. (UTC + 5)
19. Kandahar and Kabul in Pakistan. (UTC +4:30)
20. Mauritius, Oman, Réunion, Seychelles, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Saratov, Astrakhan, Ulyanovsk, Izhevsk and Samara in Russia. (UTC + 4)
21. Isfahan and Tehran, Iran (UTC + 3:30)
22. Uganda, Comoros, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, Madagascar, Qatar, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey; Minsk, Belarus; Baghdad, Iraq and Sevastopol, Volgograd, Novgorod and St. Petersburg in Russia and other countries in this time zone. (UTC + 3)
23. Mozambique, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Libya, Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza Strip, Israel, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Jordan, Namibia, Sudan; Kyiv in Ukraine, Athens, Greece and Kaliningrad, Russia and other areas in this time zone. (UTC + 2)
24. Vatican City, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Norway, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Croatia, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden, Monaco, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Germany, France, Tunisia, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Gibraltar, Malta, and others in this group. (UTC + 1)
25. Mauritania, Mali, Liberia, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Guinea, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Morocco, Canary Island, Sao Tome and Principe, Saint Helena, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal and London, United Kingdom and others. (UTC)
26. Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland, Azores in Portugal and Praia in Cape Verde. (UTC – 1)
27. South Sandwich Islands, South Georgia, Fernando de Noronha and Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil. (UTC – 2)
28. Falkland Islands (UK territory), Nuuk, Greenland; French Guiana, Suriname, Uruguay, Paraguay, Salvador and Recife, Brazil; Ushuaia, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and Santiago, Chile. (UTC – 3)
29. Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada (UTC – 3:30)
30. Bolivia; Manaus, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Netherlands Antilles, Bermuda (UK territory), Barbados; Caracas, Venezuela and Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada and many others in this time zone. (UTC – 4)
31. Panama, Ecuador, Jamaica, Bahamas, Colombia; Acre in Brazil. Peru; Havana, Cuba; Quebec, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto in Canada; Virginia Beach, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Detroit, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Washington, D.C., and New York in the United States and others. (UTC – 5)
32. Costa Rica, Belize, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Veracruz, Acapulco, Mexico City in Mexico; Regina and Winnipeg in Canada, and Milwaukee, Dallas, Houston, Oklahoma City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans and Chicago in the U.S. and others. (UTC – 6)
33. Mazatlan and Chihuahua in Mexico; Yellowknife, Aklavik, Edmonton and Calgary in Canada; Tucson, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Salt Lake city, El Paso, Albuquerque and Denver in the U.S. plus others. (UTC – 7)
34. Pitcairn in the UK, Mexicali and Tijuana in Mexico, Whitehorse and Vancouver in Canada and Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas, San Jose, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the U.S. plus other areas. (UTC -8)
35. Gambier Islands in French Polynesia; Juneau, Unalaska, Nome, Fairbanks and Anchorage in the U.S. plus others. (UTC – 9)
36. Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. (UTC – 9:30)
37. Papeete in Tahiti, French Polynesia; Rarotonga in Cook Islands; Adak of the Aleutian Islands and Honolulu in Hawaii, USA. (UTC – 10)
38. Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Islands, Midway Islands, Alofi in Niue, Pago-Pago in American Samoa. These are the last inhabited islands to greet the New Year. (UTC – 11)
39. Howland Island and Baker Island, located in central Pacific Ocean and north of the equator. Both are uninhabited. (UTC – 12)
There you have it — the list of all 39 groups to greet the New Year in chronological order. This means that Baker Island and Howland Island would greet the New Year 26 hours after Millennium Island and the other islands in Kiribati have had their celebration.
Now you know when to time your call to greet your friends wherever they may be. By the time New Year's Eve is celebrated in many parts of Asia and Western Australia, about 25% of the population in the world would also be celebrating it.
It's great if you can greet your friends around the world in their own language. If you need help with translation, call Day Translations, as we're open 24/7 each day of the week.
Before we say goodbye to another very fruitful year, we wish you a very Happy New Year!
To those who speak other languages:
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Gleðilegt nýtt ár!
Manigong Bagong Taon!
Heri ya mwaka mpya!
Frohes Neues Jahr!
Kia hari te tau hou!
Copyright: rondale / 123RF Stock Photo