New Year’s Eve 2020: Which Countries Wave Goodbye To 2020 First And Last?

Sydney Harbour illuminated by fireworks Credit: PA

While people across the globe are no doubt eager to wave goodbye to 2020, countries around the world will welcome a fresh start in 2021 at different times. So, which countries celebrate the New Year first and who is last?

While for many the iconic fireworks over Sydney Harbour might herald the beginning of a New Year, it might be surprising to know that Australia isn’t actually the first country to ring in the New Year. This honour is held by the tiny Pacific island of Tonga, who celebrates the New Year at 10am GMT.

Most of Australia does indeed quickly follow at 11am, but not before New Zealand who welcomes a fresh year at 10:15am.

The last country to ring in 2021 will be the tiny outlying island of the US, Baker and Howland, who enter the New Year a full 25 hours after Tonga, at 12pm on January 1. However, the island is uninhabited; therefore, most people only count the second last country, which is American Samoa, where the New Year will be celebrated at 11am.

Interestingly, if someone wanted to ring in 2021 twice, it would be possible for them to get a quick flight between Tonga and American Samoa.

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Written by

Sarah Keane

Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.

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