Since Samoa moved to the other side of the International Date Line in 2012, visitors to the South Pacific island of Samoa can enjoy the unique experience to be the first people to celebrate the New Year. Partying on Lalomanu beach on the island of Upolu on 31 December allows revellers to be the first to bring in the New Year, as it is located on the most Eastern shore of Samoa, right next to the International Date Line. Alternatively, visitors may drive up along the coastline in the morning and be the first to see the sun rise over the horizon for a more relaxed and tranquil celebration.
Travellers can explore the island even further by taking a dip in the To Sua Ocean trench, a gleaming pool of crystal clear waters; visiting the Sopoaga and Fuipisia waterfalls and take the Le Mafa Pass for a scenic drive before heading for the capital Apia to take in the rest of the day and enjoy island celebrations into the night. Visitors may also welcome the New Year with a bang by watching fireworks on the beach.
Samoans love any reasons to enjoy and celebrate life, making it the perfect destination to mark the New Year. Celebrations in Samoa centre around family, homes are decorated with flowers and coloured paper while inexpensive gifts are given and shared. New Year’s in Samoa wouldn’t be complete without attending a Fiafia Night, a celebration of Samoan culture with a traditional buffet and entertainment featuring beautiful songs, graceful dances and the spectacular fire knife dance known as Siva Afi. Fiafia can be translated as happy get-together, and the performers are very enthusiastic and proud to share their traditional culture with the audience. The vibrant and welcoming culture makes it incredibly easy to meet new people and feel a part of the local community.
To enjoy an even more unique experience, visitors can celebrate New Year’s Eve twice by hopping on a short flight to the American Soma, which is 24 hours behind, and welcome the dawn of the New Year all over again.