A New Years Eve Celebration Where Time Begins in Tonga

The first country in the world to greet the New Year, each and every year, is Tonga in the South Pacific. That is because it lies very close to the 180th parallel (12 hours ahead of Greenwich). It sits directly on the International Dateline. 

Tongans value their relationship with God and others. The whole first week of the New Year is called Uike Lotu (prayer week). Every day church congregations meet and pray morning and evening, and in between they feast together. Bands all over the island take their instruments, sometimes-homemade banjos, bass and guitars, and go from home to home hoping for some provisions in exchange for their music.