The islands of Samoa, Tonga and small Kiribati have ushered in on Thursday at 11 a.m. (Dutch time) 2021. As usual, the residents were the first to celebrate the New Year.
Confusingly, the residents of American Samoa, the eastern part of the Samoa Islands, are among the last to celebrate the New Year. This part is just on the other side of the date line.
After the small islands, New Zealand follows at noon. New Zealand closed its borders in March and imposed a mandatory quarantine for citizens who decided to return from abroad. As a result, the number of corona infections has remained so small that festivals can take place at the turn of the year.
In other countries, New Year’s celebrations are a bit more austere. For example, the famous fireworks show in Sydney, Australia, will take place, at 2 pm it will be 2021 there, but the spectacle will be shortened. Authorities have also called on people to watch the show from home.