The atoll of Kiritimati, part of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, in January 2021
The residents of Kiritimati, which belongs to the Kiribati archipelago, were the first in the world to start the new year at 11 a.m. German time.
For the first time since the beginning of the corona pandemic, tourists were also allowed to celebrate: the borders of the Polynesian island states have been largely closed to foreigners since March 2020.
Kiribati has only been welcoming international guests again since August.
The 388 square kilometer atoll of Kiritimati itself has only a few thousand inhabitants.
Samoa, which abolished daylight saving time this year, follows for the first time an hour later – now at the same time as New Zealand and Tonga.
Elaborate fireworks are planned on Samoa's largest island of Savaiʻi and in the capital Apia on the island of Upolu, which are to light up the sky over the South Seas at exactly midnight.
The cabinet had made 310,000 dollars (290,000 euros) loose for the light spectacle.
Many people in the Kingdom of Tonga are still suffering from the aftermath of the massive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai subsea volcano.
In mid-January, the mountain of fire threw a gigantic cloud of ash and gas kilometers high.
The colossal eruption, which could even be seen from space, caused severe damage in Tonga.