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10…9…8…7… Be the First — or the Last — to Celebrate the New Year!

First and Last Places to Celebrate New Year's Eve
Written by Gabby Teaman

Every December 31, revelers from all over the world ring in the new year and make a fresh start as the clock strikes midnight and the calendar turns to January. Because of the different time zones around the globe, the arrival of the new year comes at varying times depending on where you are.

This means that you can make your New Year’s Eve celebration special by shifting your own time zone. Whether you want to be the first or last one to start the new year, here are the most extreme places to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The First Places to Celebrate the New Year

Christmas Island

There’s an old Andrews Sisters number that goes, “How’d you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island?” And while that would certainly be lovely, you might also want to hang around for New Year’s Eve. Because the lovely, tropical Christmas Island is distinguished as being the first inhabited place in the world to see the arrival of the new year. Christmas Island is located in the South Pacific and is also known as Kiritimati Island. It’s the largest island in the Republic of Kiribati, which is part of Samoa. The tropical vibe makes it a great place to spend the holidays if you’re looking for a little relaxation. Enjoy celebrating this December with fireworks displays, traditional cultural celebrations, and more.

New Zealand

New Zealand is another popular holiday destination if you want bragging rights about being one of the first people in the world to toast to new beginnings. New Zealand is a great choice if you’re looking for a more urban experience. Head to lively Queenstown for a wide array of parties, bar crawls, and even a fireworks extravaganza. Or, kick back by planning an outdoor adventure. Take advantage of New Zealand’s stunning natural scenery and the fact that it’s summer this time of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

You may also enjoy: New Year’s Celebrations Around the World You’ll Want to Take Part In

The Last Places to Celebrate the New Year

Hawaii or Tahiti

Want to put off celebrating the new year until the last possible moment? Then check out Tahiti or Hawaii. Both of these locations offer warm weather, gorgeous beaches, and swaying palm trees. Whether you’re looking for a party scene or something more relaxed, each Hawaiian island features its own special way to celebrate the occasion. Or, you can head to exotic Tahiti, the largest island of French Polynesia. This tropical paradise is best known for its unique black-sand beaches, cascading waterfalls, a pair of volcanoes, and a welcoming island vibe. Live it up with a New Year’s party at your five-star resort or chill out with a quiet celebration on the beach. Either way, you can’t go wrong when you’re ending the year with a celebration in Tahiti.

American Samoa

As the final inhabited place on the planet to ring in the new year, American Samoa is an ideal choice to mark the new beginning. This lush group of volcanic islands is located approximately 2,500 miles south of Hawaii. American Samoa is also the only inhabited U.S. territory positioned south of the equator. The urban center of Pago Pago is an ideal home base for your New Year’s festivities. Pago Pago is the perfect balance of a modern harbor juxtaposed with the ancient culture of these traditional island natives.

It should be noted that the last places on Earth to transition to the year are Baker Island and Howland Island. However, since both of these islands are uninhabited, you would be wise to choose American Samoa, Tahiti, or Hawaii as your travel destination.

Where do you plan to celebrate New Year’s this year? Tell us in the comments below!

About the author

Gabby Teaman

Gabby Teaman is a content writer who loves writing (of course!), editing, food, and the Oxford comma. When she’s not writing for Fareportal, she can be found Snapchatting videos of her puppy, blasting show tunes, or watching Netflix, all while trying to read everything in sight.

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