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Samoa Drops Friday From The Calendar

(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

It’s every one’s favorite day of the week, but the island nation of Samoa wants Friday gone. Well, ok not every Friday just one in particular. This year, Friday December 30th will not exist. You will go to sleep on a Thursday and wake up on a Saturday. It’s like time travel without all the hassle. But why is Samoa so over this particular Friday ?

It’s the key step in the Pacific island nation’s plan to move from the eastern to the western side of the International Date Line and mesh its work week with two of its primary trading partners, New Zealand and Australia. The New Zealand territory of Tokelau is making the switch as well.


“In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we’re losing out on two working days a week,”  Samoan Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sailele said. “While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand, and when we’re at church Sunday, they’re already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane.”

This new plan has NOT been controverial among residents, and that’s probably because they are use to the big changes their government has inflicted in the past.

Two years ago, drivers were ordered to switch from right-side to left-side driving — to reduce the cost of converting cars brought in from Australia and New Zealand.

It’s also not the first time Samoa has switched sides on the calendar: Back in 1892, Samoans gained an extra day when they went from the west side of the imaginary Date Line to the east side. The king made the switch to please U.S. traders — and to celebrate, he gave his subjects a double dose of the Fourth of July that year. Meanwhile, not all Samoans’ will be making the switch.

American Samoa, 100 miles to the east, will not be making the switch. All this means that Samoa and Tokelau will be among the first places in the world to see each day’s sunrise. (Stuff.co.nz says the “first light honors” will belong to Fakaofo in Tokelau, although Kiribati and Antarctica also have claims on the title.) Meanwhile, American Samoa will become known as the last place to see each day’s sunset. And if you want to celebrate your birthday or anniversary (or New Year’s Eve, for that matter) two days in a row, you can just make the hourlong flight from Samoa to American Samoa.

 

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