At the stroke of midnight on Dec. 29, time in Samoa and Tokelau will leap forward to Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve. For Samoa’s 186,000 citizens, and the 1,500 in Tokelau, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, will simply cease to exist.
There won’t be a Friday in Samoa, the tiny Pacific island nation, tomorrow, or in neighboring Tokelau. They’re going from Thursday straight into Saturday, just this once.
Under a government decree, all those scheduled to work on the nonexistent Friday will be given full pay for the missed day of labor.
The time shift will be marked by the ringing of church bells across Samoa’s two main islands, and prayer services in all the main churches of the devoutly Christian nation.
Samoa crossing international date line By Leonard Ho – Posted Dec 29, 2011 07:05 AM
Samao and Tokelau are set to cross the international date line on December 29 and skip straight to December 31. For the people of these islands, December 30, 2011 will have never existed.
Samoa and Tokelau have decided to cross the international date line. 119 years ago, U.S. traders persuaded local Samoan authorities to align their islands’ time with neighboring U.S.-controlled American Samoa and the United States to assist their trading with California. But Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji have grown to be more important trading partners; The decision to cross (back) the international date line is intended to facilitate trade with them.
Whatever happens, an entire day ‘vanished’ is interesting trivia!
Samoa is east of the International Date Line, putting it in sync with the United States. But it would be more economically efficient to align itself, timewise, with trading partners in the region, such as Australia and New Zealand.