Samoa skips Friday in leap across International Date Line

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

If you’re visiting Samoa, be prepared to skip Friday and get an early start on New Year’s Eve celebrations.

The country that sits in the South Pacific near the International Date Line will change its time zone midnight Thursday to be in sync with Australia and New Zealand. The nation of two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i, and several smaller ones will move west of the imaginary date line time-wise.

Before the change, Tonga and Fiji, its nearest neighbors, were a day ahead of Samoa.

“In effect we will be waking up on Saturday 31st December 2011, and lose one day in our lives as there will be no Friday 30th December 2011 in the history of Samoa,” a statement on the Samoa Tourism Authority website says.

Maps, charts and atlases too will be changed to reflect Samoa’s new position on the date line, the statement said.