Which Country Celebrates the New Year First? 2023

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The first country and city to celebrate New Year’s Eve annually is Kiritimati, Kiribati. Chatham Islands, New Zealand; Chukotka and Kamchatka Russia; and Sydney, Australia follow close behind.

Time Zone Difference Examples

Australia, Europe and North America

When it’s midnight (UTC+14) on New Year’s Day in Kiritimati, Kiribati, it’s only 9 pm in Sydney, Australia. In London, England, it’s only 10 am on December 31, so they would still have to wait 14 more hours to usher in NYE. In the United States, it’s 5 am in New York, 4 am in Chicago, and the middle of the afternoon (2 am) in Los Angeles on December 31.

Ottawa, Ontario celebrates at the same time as New York City at 5 am. Mexico City, Mexico celebrates the same time as Belize City, Belize in South America and Chicago in the U.S. (4 am).

South America

If you’re in South America, It’s only 7 am in Rio de Janeiro on December 31 and only 4 am in Belize City when 12 am in Kiritimati.


When it’s Midnight on New Year’s Day in Kiritimati, Kiribati, it’s 11 am in Lagos, Nigeria the day before. In Cairo, Egypt, it’s noon on NYE.

In Asia

It’s 6 pm in Shanghai, China when it’s midnight on January 1 in Kiritimati. In Karachi, Pakistan, it’s 3 pm on NYE, and in Tokyo, Japan it’s 7 pm.

Kiribati New Year’s Traditions

Kiribati doesn’t seem to have much public information about how they celebrate New Year’s. However, they do have their share of celebrations happening in local bars and guesthouses.

People also gather at the public maneaba (meeting place), which has the same shape as American park pavilions but with roofs made of coconut wood. Otherwise, Kiribati locals might travel to either New Zealand or to Sydney Harbor for the fireworks show that takes place there. Also, music and dancing have always been a part of the Kiribati culture, so you can probably expect that to be a part of their NYE observance.

By the way, the Kiribati temperature on New Year’s Even is much warmer than in some parts of Europe and North America. It’s usually between 25-30 degrees Celsius (77-86 Fahrenheit), so you could probably vacation here and indulge in snorkeling, swimming or fishing, and golfing on NYE.

Facts About Kiribati

Kiritimati in Kiribati is also known as Christmas Island. It was named that when British explorer James Cook arrived here on Christmas Day in 1777. It consists of 32 coral atolls, which are land formations comprised of reef rings around lagoons.

Which Country Celebrates the New Year First? 2023

Which Country Celebrates the New Year First? 2023