As the clock strikes 12 on 29 December, the country will collectively leap a whole day into the future, meaning it will have lost Friday 30 December completely and wake up on Saturday 31 December instead.
It’s happening because the nation is shifting across the International Date Line so it is in line with key trading partners such as Australia, China and New Zealand, which are currently nearly a full weekday ahead of it.
The move will bring an end to the 119-year-old decision that the country should stay a day behind: Samoa is currently 21 hours behind Sydney, but from 31 December it will be three hours ahead of it and 13 hours ahead of Greenwich.
Speaking about the move across the International Date Line, Samoan Prime Minister Sailele Malielegaoi said that because the nation’s interests lie more with the Asia-Pacific region, they have decided to switch back to the west side of the international dateline, which runs roughly north-to-south along the 180-degree line of longitude in the Pacific Ocean.
“In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we are losing out on two working days a week,” he said.
“While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand and when we are at church on Sunday, they are already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane.”
The current arrangement has meant that Samoa’s clocks were only four hours behind those of San Francisco. However, trade with the US is incredibly impractical due to the geographical location of the island.
New Zealand governed Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa, until its independence in 1962 and continues to have a strong cultural influence on the 180 000-strong island nation — so to move the country close to the time in New Zealand is inherently more practical than tying it with a country 4 000 miles away.
Samoa has traditionally marketed itself to tourists as the last place on Earth to see sunset, so will now have to rethink its strategy as well as change a lot of signs and leaflets.
Although, any spare tourist material can now be shipped to the nearby island of American Samoa — with the American territory taking over as the new last place on earth to see the sunset.
Of course, while 30 December is just another day for most, there will be exceptions. Anyone with a birthday or anniversary staying on Samoa on that date will simply miss it.
But Samoan’s (or visitors to the island) with significant celebrations or memorials that day do have an advantage over those born on 29 February they can fly or sail east back across the International Date Line and get their missing day back again. — Yahoo.