December 31, 2023

Happy New Year: Meet first and last country to enter 2024

New Year

By Agbonkhese Oboh

Nigeria will join other countries across the world to say goodbye to 2023 and welcome the New Year 2024. The trepidation with which Nigerians look to 2024 should not spoil the fun.

Therefore, let’s meet the first country to say ‘Happy New Year’.

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The Pacific nation of Kiribati will be the first to celebrate the new year while we are still at 11 a.m. in Nigeria.

Specifically, Kiritimati Island will taste 2024 first. It is part of the Republic of Kiribati. Also called “Christmas Island”, it is in the farthest forward time zone. Imagine full 19 hours ahead of New York City.

Okay, NYC is far from us. Kiritimati Island is 13 hours ahead of Abuja  Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, FCT. So far!

Now, an hour after Kiritimati Island sees the new year, Auckland, New Zealand, will start saying ‘Happy New Year’. That’s around 12 noon Nigerian time.

The last place to join the new year train will be Baker Island. Now, wonder of wonders! Baker Island is 650 miles (1,046.074 kilometres) from Kiribati. However, it is about 26 hours behind due to time zones quirk.

Now, to be very explanatory, at the time of publishing this story (10:30 a.m.), Kiritimati was 30 minutes away from the New Year 2024!

Meanwhile, over 100,000 people are expected to watch London’s sold-out New Year’s Eve display in person.

But, these time zones magic should humble us to disturb less with “Happy New Year”. For some have been in 2024 for almost half a day before you. No, it shouldn’t dampen the fun.

Not even the usual promises of unserious leaders should!

Vanguard News