Happy new year clock time
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What cities are the first to see the new year?

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While we’re rocking out with TV’s annual New Year’s Eve show, what cities are the first time zone to see the new year?


Someone always has to be first

Ah, New Year’s Eve. A night for partying, drinking, making promises we’ll never keep and waking up in the bathroom with one shoe missing and inappropriate terms for human anatomy written on our face in permanent marker. (Well, maybe that’s just my New Year’s Eve.)

Anyway, while we’re getting our party on here in the US, who has already been there and done that?

Party in paradise

If you’re just dying to be the first to welcome the new year, you’re going to have to make a heck of a trek. The time zone that welcomes in the new year first is UTC+14:00.

In case you’re not sure where that one is right off the bat, a glance at the map reveals that UTC+14:00 is home to Samoa and the Kiribati islands.

Here’s an illustration showing the International Date Line, in all its zig-zag glory. Everything to the left of that line will see every new day — at least in terms of how we measure time on this planet — before the places on the right side of the line.

International Date Line on image of Earth - NOAA

Folks in the New Zealand cities of Auckland and Wellington are the next to kick off the party an hour later, with eastern Australia and the cities of Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney kicking off the festivities two hours after the Kiwis.

In fact, we Americans are some of the last to celebrate — by the time the new year rolls around to the east coast of the US, people in Samoa have already slept off their hangovers, and are going about their business the next day.

MORE: Are all time zones exactly on the hour?