On Thursday, 29th December, Samoans will go to bed and wake up on Saturday morning the 31st December – ready for starting New Year’s Eve celebrations. By magic (an act of Parliament actually! ) that would have made Harry Potter proud – Friday 30th December would have disappeared. Samoa, which has copied that Kiribati changed its dateline in 1999 in order to be the first to receive the new Millenium, has just moved in the same direction adjusting the International Dateline to its east of Upolu Island, instead of the west of the Big island of Savaii.
So, we have lost being the last country in the world to see the Sunset – Falealupo’s main claim to international fame! The move is an economical one, and will adjust Samoa’s calendar to its three main trading partners (New Zealand, Australia and China). Many of of our travel partners will see this as a blessing as the crossing of the dateline has always been a bit of a mystery and confusion for our fellow Kiwis and Ozzies – “How did I leave Wednesday to arrive on Tuesday?”.
What makes one person’s loss is another’s gain – you can now see the last Sunset on planet earth next door in American Samoa – right there at the western tip of Tutuila at Cape Taputapu – a national Natural landmark of the village of Poloa.
But, hey, Samoans have found another great excuse for a celebration – and our friends at BlueSky/SamoaTel are throwing a Science-fiction theme night “Time Swap” at the YNot Bar on Beach Road. On the count of midnight, they will start the “time machine” and pouff! we will be travel in the future by one day. Only in Samoa!