26 hours to celebrate New Year’s Day

/ 02:30 AM January 01, 2016
EARLY WELCOME    Fireworks were set off on Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City on the night of Dec. 30 in anticipation of the New Year. ELOISA LOPEZ

EARLY WELCOME Fireworks were set off on Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City on the night of Dec. 30 in anticipation of the New Year. ELOISA LOPEZ

It takes 26 hours before all the time zones around the world will have ushered in 2016.

Six hours before the Philippines welcomed 2016, Samoa, a South Pacific island nation located about 8,000 kilometers southeast of Manila, and Kiribati, a group of islands located in the Pacific Ocean about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, had already celebrated the New Year. The two countries were the first to welcome 2016 at 6 p.m. Manila time on Thursday.


Samoa used to be one of the last places in the world to celebrate the New Year until it did a “time hop” four years ago, wiping off a full day, Dec. 30, 2011, from its calendar.

The time change was meant to align Samoa with its Asian trading partners. Since then, it has become one of the first countries to welcome the New Year.


Samoa and Kiribati were followed an hour later by New Zealand, and three hours after in some parts of Australia. Japan, South Korea and Timor-Leste ushered in 2016 an hour earlier than Manila.

Among the countries that welcomed 2016 at the same time as the Philippines were China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Other Asian countries—Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam—followed an hour later.

Two hours after Filipinos welcomed the New Year, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and Bhutan ushered in 2016. India and Sri Lanka followed 30 minutes later.

The United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Oman and other neighboring countries welcomed 2016 on Jan. 1, 4 a.m., Manila time, while regions of Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq welcomed the New Year an hour later.

European countries like the Vatican City, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France and Italy will usher in 2016 on Jan. 1, 7 a.m. Manila time while the United Kingdom, Ireland and Portugal will celebrate the New Year an hour later.

The cities of New York and Washington will be among the first to welcome 2016 in the United States as they celebrate the New Year at 1 p.m. Manila time, Jan. 1. Other cities in the US, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas, will be celebrating the New Year at

4 p.m. in Manila.


American Samoa, which is about 125 kilometers to the east of Samoa but did not adapt the switch in the timeline, will welcome 2016 on Friday at 7 p.m. Manila time.

Some regions of the US, including Baker Island and Howland Island, will be the last places to welcome 2016 at 8 p.m. Friday in Manila.

Sources:, Inquirer Archives, CIA World Factbook



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