Tonga one of first Pacific nations to greet New Year

Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand will be the first Pacific nations to welcome the New Year.

However, the French territory of Tahiti, which is an hour ahead, will welcome in 2018 first.

Parts of French Polynesia are even further ahead.

Auckland in New Zealand will be the first major city to mark the New Year.

The fireworks display from the Sky Tower in Auckland will use half a tonne of fireworks this year, according to organisers.

The Sydney fireworks display from the Sydney Harbour Bridge is televised around the world.

It can be seen at 2am Tongan time.

Queensland is the only Australian east coast state not on daylight saving and will mark the new year at 3am Tongan time.

Major fireworks displays around the world usually include Dubai,  but this year it appears the focus will be on a laser and light show in the centre of the city.

London usually hosts a spectacular fireworks display, but revellers will face rain, wind and freezing temperatures outdoors.

By the time Londoners are welcoming in the New Year, it will be 1pm in Tonga.

The last territory  to greet the new year will be American Samoa.

The US territory is only 200km from Samoa, but is on the other side of the international dateline.

Some countries will celebrate New Year twice, once using the western calendar and another using the lunar (13 month) calendar.

The main points

  • Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand will be the first Pacific nations to welcome the New Year.
  • Auckland in New Zealand will be the first major city to mark the New Year.
  • The last territory to greet the new year will be American Samoa, which is on the other side of international dateline from Samoa.

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