Thursday, December 31, 2009
Kiribati Wins the Rush to 2010, Mostly
The tit-for-tat rivalry game between Australia and New Zealand continues as Sydney started its New Year's Day celebration a few hours early in order that the party began at the same time it did in Auckland.
The article is also of interest because it notes Christmas (Kiritmati) Island is the first inhabited place to celebrate 2010. This is true because even though the island is east of the 180th meridian. Kiribati moved the dateline unilaterally in 1995 so that it could celebrate 2000 before anyone else could. While not everyone recognizes this move (including National Geographic and Yahoo), the people on the islands affected by the decree live their lives with the date changed so that is that.
However, Kiribati's claim is not totally rock solid. The government likes to claim Caroline Island is the first land mass to see the New Year's first sunrise. That honor goes to Antarctica.