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As The World Turns December 31, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in People.

Arvik’s post, 2010 Summation, got me thinking about the start of the New Year . . . all around the globe. 

As Arvik pointed out:

The funny thing about the New Year is that you could start the calendar from any point you want.

Despite that, countries all around the globe celebrate the start of the New Year tonight:

The New Year of the Gregorian calendar, today in worldwide use, falls on 1 January, continuing the practice of the Roman calendar. There are numerous calendars that remain in regional use that calculate the New Year individually.  [Wikipedia, New Year]

Much of the world is ending the period referred to as “2010″ and beginning the period referred to as “2011.”

For the Northern Hemisphere, it’s Winter.

In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s Summer.

But South Africans and North Americans both celebrate the beginning of the New Year on the same day.

If we turn on the TV tonight, we’ll see camera crews moving around the globe welcoming in the New Year, time zone by time zone, “as the world turns.”

Because of the division of the globe into time zones, the new year moves progressively around the globe as the start of the day ushers in the New Year. The first time zone to usher in the New Year is just west of the International Date Line. At that time the time zone to the east of the Date Line is 23 hours behind, still in the previous day.

The central Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati claims that its easternmost landmass, uninhabited Caroline Island, is the first to usher in the New Year. [Wikipedia, New Year]

Despite different seasons, languages, cultures, and religions, much of humanity actually agreed on something!

It’s a start.

Related article:  All Around the World, Partiers Usher in 2011


1. Joanne - December 31, 2010

In an abstract sort of way, this could be used to illustrate the Theory of Relativity — if it hasn’t already been – in “Time Travel For Dummies”.

nrhatch - December 31, 2010

Time Travel for Dummies is a title I have not stumbled across yet. 🙂

Joanne - December 31, 2010

Then feel free to use it — it’s on me… I just thought of it while reading your post:-D

nrhatch - December 31, 2010

I’m actually a big fan of some of the dummy books. 😉

2. kateshrewsday - December 31, 2010

You’re right: countries agree on this at least! A silver lining!

nrhatch - December 31, 2010

That small degree of consensus is a start. 🙂

3. jannatwrites - December 31, 2010

The fact that the world agrees on this is actually amazing, because it would not be far-fetched to think that there would be at least one hold out demanding another new year as a sort of power play.

nrhatch - December 31, 2010

There may be a few hold-outs.

Hong Kong celebrated the New Year tonight, but I’m not sure about China.

But it’s a fairly “universal” celebration these days, starting in the Pacific and traveling around the world. 🙂

4. flyinggma - January 1, 2011

I love “Despite different seasons, languages, cultures, and religions, much of humanity actually agreed on something! It’s a start.”

Now only if we could get Congress to do the same. One small step in the right direction…cooperation would be great. Jeanne

nrhatch - January 1, 2011

It is far past time to switch gears from Competition to Cooperation, from Greed to Green, from Profit to Planet.

5. flyinggma - January 1, 2011

I couldn’t agree more. When did statesmanship go out the window? It used to be that they would look, discuss and ponder the ideas presented. Now if it is from someone in the other party it is automatically considered bad.

nrhatch - January 1, 2011

They need to remember that they are there to represent “WE THE PEOPLE” . . . not the lobbyists and special interests.

6. M. Howalt - January 3, 2011

Well said – and a happy new year to you! 🙂

nrhatch - January 3, 2011

A change would do us good.

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