Samoa is the first country in the world to welcome the New Year since its bold move to shift to the west of the International Date Line to be on the same day as it’s nearest trading partners New Zealand and Australia. The shift also means that Samoa will always be the 1st nation to celebrate the new year.
Samoa welcomed 2019 with a magnificent display of fireworks, fired up from a barge on the water in the Apia Harbour area.
Hundreds of people mostly families with young children lined the harbour seawall to watch the fireworks display. Police tried to control the traffic which had come to a complete stop during the 30 minute fireworks display.
The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi addressed the nation to welcome 2019 and promised fireworks as an ongoing event for Samoa.
“In celebration of the New Year; and Samoa being the first country in the World to usher in, the very first dawn of the new year ever since we shifted the International Dateline to stay permanently between Samoa and American Samoa therefore, it is fitting that Samoa put on a display of fireworks to herald in 2019; an event that will be repeated on every New Year in the future. In a few minutes from now following my address to you all, the fireworks will be set off from behind the government building, on the calm waters of our Apia Harbour and also at the Taumeasina Hotel site, to mark the beginning of the New Year.”