Which Country Celebrates the New Year First, and Which Sees It Last?

Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati will kick off the celebrations.
Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati will kick off the celebrations. / Eva-Katalin/Getty Images

After a trying year, people around the world are eager to ring in 2022. Every country recognizes the new year at midnight on January 1, but they don't celebrate it in the same order. These will be the very first and last countries to say goodbye to 2021 when their clocks strike 12.

According to NDTV, the eastern-most islands of Oceania will be the first to welcome the new year at midnight. Before many people in the West wake up on December 31, people in Tonga, Samoa, and Kiribati will flip their calendars to January 1, 2022. New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea are the next countries in line to mark the holiday.

It will take more than a full day for the new year to reach the other side of the time zone map. At 6:00 a.m. EST on January 1—25 hours after Samoa's celebrations at 5 a.m. EST on December 31—American Samoa will ring in the new year. One hour later, Baker Island will become the very last place on Earth to enter 2022.

Time differences aren't the only way the new year varies around the globe. From breaking dishes in Denmark to sleeping in cemeteries in Chile, here are 10 of the world's most entertaining New Year's customs.

[h/t NDTV]

This story originally ran in 2020; it has been updated for 2021.