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Samoa Time Zone Change: Country Skips A Day

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Flickr: F0t0Synth
Flickr: F0t0Synth

If you live in Samoa and celebrate a birthday on December 30, you're plum out of luck this year. On Thursday, the small country of Samoa will switch sides of the International Date Line, jumping a full day ahead from Thursday to Saturday.

Samoa currently operates nearly a full day behind its trading partners New Zealand and Australia, putting the country at a disadvantage in business. According to The Australian, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi proposed the change last year to make sure the country -- ahem -- gets with the times.

Meanwhile, American Samoa, the islands to the east, will remain a day ahead.

For those missing a birthday, the Prime Minister has offered a small concession:

"You can have two birthdays, two weddings and two wedding anniversaries on the same date on separate days in less than an hour's flight, without leaving the Samoan chain," he said.

While some are irked that Samoa will lose its title as the last place on earth to see the sunset each day, others are thrilled by the prospect of gaining a day in business operations.

"It's probably one of the most critical changes for my little country," business owner Laemau Oketevi told the Associated Press.

Around the Web

BBC News - How does a country change its time zone?

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Samoa Time Zone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Samoa Changes Time Zones : NPR