Samoa is the first country to ring into the new decade as it is positioned immediately west of the International Date Line (IDL). New Year celebrations began in Samoa as well as Christmas Island (Kiribati) when the clocked ticked 12 O'clock midnight. In Samoa, people can take a one-hour flight to American Samoa, a US territory, which is placed on the other side of the dateline, to celebrate the new year twice.
Though the islands are around 150 kilometres apart, American Samoa is 25 hours behind Samoa, which makes it one of the last places to enter into the new year. Netizens started posting the pictures of celebrations as soon as the islands in the South Pacific ringed the bell of 2020.
Happy New Years From SAMOA! pic.twitter.com/J7lMkMZLNE— HoodLikeMe (@ChuckTaylorz89) December 31, 2019
Kiritimati – or Christmas Island – and Samoa both lie immediately west of the International Date Line in the Pacific Ocean and have started the ball rolling for New Year’s revellers across the globe. #HappyNewYear #SriLanka #lka https://t.co/XS5LJ9xxW9— Shan Rathnasooriya 🇱🇰 (@Mr6feet) December 31, 2019
2020 has officially begun in Samoa and is moving across the world as we speak 🌍🌎🗺️ HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my friends who live in the future relative to me 😁🎊 pic.twitter.com/dmiwWU6bGz— Tessa (@SparkyFace5) December 31, 2019
The New Year celebrations will now move to New Zealand and Australia and all the eyes will be on the iconic fireworks of Sydney, which was under threat due to catastrophic ongoing bushfires. An online petition was initiated six weeks ago demanding the cancellation of the fireworks and has been signed by more than 2,60,000 people. The city spokesperson appreciated the concerns of the public but added that preparations and planning for the New Year’s Eve started 15 months ago.
The spokesperson said that most of the budget has already been spent and cancellation would also ruin the plans of tens of thousands of visitors from across the world. Sydney administration, in a statement, said that the city has already donated $620,000 to drought and bushfire relief. The amount will be used to provide trucks, staff and other in-kind support to assist emergency services with recovery and clean-up efforts.