The New Year’s Eve parties started a whole day early on the Pacific island nation of Samoa, after a hop across the international date line transported the country 24 hours into the future.

Samoa and neighbouring Tokelau are close to the international dateline that zigzags vertically through the Pacific Ocean, and both sets of islands decided to realign themselves this year from the Americas side of the line to the Asia side.

That makes them the first in the world to ring in the New Year rather than the last.

Samoans began celebrating at the stroke of midnight on Thursday, Dec. 29. That’s when the country skipped over Friday and moved straight into 12-01 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. Pools and beaches have been crowded with revellers.

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