Which country celebrates New Year first and who’s last?


NEW Year celebrations are likely to be subdued this year – but which nation kicks off the New Year first?

With 2021 arriving at different times across the globe, here’s a breakdown on who rings in the New Year first and last.

 When will other countries around the world celebrate the New Year in relation to the UK?


When will other countries around the world celebrate the New Year in relation to the UK?Credit: Getty – Contributor

Which country celebrates New Year first?

While fireworks exploding over Sydney harbour usually symbolises the start of global New Year festivities for most Brits, it may surprise you to hear that Australia is not the first country in the world to welcome the New Year.

The Pacific island of Tonga is first to ring in the New Year and celebrated at 10am GMT on December 31 – making the tiny island nation the first to head into a fresh year.

Where will 2021 arrive last?

After travelling all around the world, the New Year eventually comes full circle – or near enough.

The last place or places to ring in 2021 will be the tiny outlying islands of the US.

Baker Island and Howland Island will see the New Year at 12pm GMT on January 1 – but as it’s uninhabited, we tend to forget about it.

Second to last will be American Samoa at 11am – just 558 miles from Tonga, where locals and visitors were celebrating a full 25 hours before.

It’s therefore possible to get a quick flight in between the two and count down to 2021 twice.

 New Year celebrations in London in 2019


New Year celebrations in London in 2019Credit: AFP – Getty

What time does New Year arrive around the world?

Using London time, this is when the world will welcome 2021:

December 31

  • 10am – Samoa and Christmas Island/Kiribati
  • 10:15am – New Zealand
  • 1pm – Most of Australia
  • 3pm – Japan, South Korea and North Korea
  • 4pm – China, Philippines, Singapore
  • 5pm – Thailand, Cambodia and large parts of Indonesia
  • 6pm – Bangladesh
  • 6.15pm – Nepal
  • 6.30pm – India and Sri Lanka
  • 7pm – Pakistan
  • 8pm – Azerbaijan
  • 8.30pm – Iran
  • 9pm – Turkey, Iraq, Kenya and most of Russia
  • 10pm – Greece, Romania, South Africa, Hungary and other central and eastern European cities
  • 11pm – Germany, France, Italy, Algeria, Belgium, Spain
  • Midnight – UK, Ireland, Ghana, Iceland, Portugal

January 1

  • 2am – Regions of Brazil
  • 3am – Argentina, regions of Brazil, Chile, Paraguay
  • 4am – Some regions of Canada, Bolivia, Puerto Rico
  • 5am – Eastern Standard Time in the US – New York, Washington, Detroit and Cuba
  • 6am – Central Standard Time in the US – Chicago
  • 7am – Mountain Standard Time in the US – Colorado, Arizona
  • 8am – Pacific Standard Time  in the US – LA, Nevada
  • 9am – Alaska
  • 10am – Hawaii
  • 11am – American Samoa
  • 12pm – Baker Island, Howland Island