Double your birthday fun after Samoa time-zone move
Samoa's prime minister says tourists can double celebrations by holding them once on each side of the international date line.
May 9th, 2011
08:32 AM ET

Double your birthday fun after Samoa time-zone move

Got a special day you'd like to celebrate twice next year? Say your birthday or maybe that 25th wedding anniversary.

Then book a trip to the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific, where, come 2012, you can redo the previous 24 hours with just a 30-minute flight.

The Cabinet of Samoa last week approved a plan to move the islands of that nation to the western side of the international dateline. But the islands that make up American Samoa, a U.S. territory, will remain to the east of the dateline. The islands are a little more than 80 miles apart.

Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said the change is necessary to facilitate business, as his country conducts most of its commerce with New Zealand, Australia, China and Southeast Asian nations.

"In doing business with New Zealand and Australia we're losing out on two working days a week. While it's Friday here, it's Saturday in New Zealand and when we're at church Sunday, they're already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane," Tuilaepa is quoted as saying in the government-owned newspaper Le Savali, reprinted on Samoanews.com.

Samoa and American Samoa were moved east of the dateline in 1892, according to the Le Savali report.

"A local trader lobbied successfully for the change as it was convenient for trading ships from Europe and the United States that were servicing Samoa at the time," the prime minister is quoted as saying.

But besides helping Samoa conduct business, Tuilaepa says it could bring tourists to American Samoa, too.

"I think there will be a very exciting experience and it is an experience that we could exploit jointly for tourist promotion, especially with the need to have a holiday, have a birthday celebrated in western Samoa, and then hop over and have the same birthday celebrated in eastern Samoa, that will be very exciting," he told ABC Radio Australia.

Tuilaepa told Radio Australia that the change has been cleared with international time zone authorities. It awaits expected approval in Samoa's Parliament.

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Filed under: Samoa • Time zones • Travel
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Echoist

    The Samoans are restless.

    May 9, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. RUFFNUTT

    this could come in hady if you were late paying the bills..

    May 9, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. Benny

    Is this considered time travel?

    May 9, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • WayOutThere

      I would say yes – with no Flux Capacitor needed!

      May 9, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. RinMaine

    This is no big deal. I flew from Sydney to Boston on my birthday, and had a 38-hour birthday. I survived, and so will Samoa.

    May 9, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      But how many of those hours were on a plane?

      May 9, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  5. Big"E"

    Hmm.Wonder how this will effect the price of tea in China. ???

    May 9, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  6. skipjack

    Does anyone really know what time it is?

    May 9, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Does anybody really care?

      May 9, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Sambo88

      If so I can't imagine why (oh no, no)
      We've all got time enough to cry

      May 9, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      (Looking over the list) Yep, that's questions 67 and 68. 🙂

      May 9, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tyler

    9am a plane leaves American Samoa heading west.
    at 11am a second plane leaves American Samoa heading west and traveling 50 mph faster than the first plane.
    What day did the second plane arrive?
    Yesterday!

    May 9, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey P

      That is funny. I don't care who you are. May do I hate word math tests. 🙂

      May 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Andrew Friet

    This might sound crazy but doesn't that just change their time by one hour? That is like driving from California to Arizona. There is only 1 hour difference, not a whole day

    May 9, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      No. When it is Sunday on the eastern side of the dateline, it is Monday on the western side of the dateline. That's why it's called the dateline. In those areas where the dateline does not coincide with a timezone line, then it is there is a 24 hour difference between the two sides.

      May 9, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeep

      This would put them over the international date line. You can lose or gain a day depending on which way you cross.

      May 9, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • TH

      It's a whole day because they will be separated by the International Dateline. You've to add one day going west and subtract one day going east.

      May 9, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    @RuffNutt: True real RuffNutt, so true.

    May 9, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  10. robotnic

    I just wasted 30 seconds of my life reading this article. Unfortunately, I don't live in Samoa, so I can't undo it.

    May 9, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. David Emery

    We connected through Samoa going from LA to Auckland NZ. 12 hour layover, enough to catch some sleep and then walk around a bit. Our bags were in an even worse time warp, it took Air New Zealand another 3 days to get our bags from Samoa to Auckland (the buggers!)

    May 9, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. jeff

    Tuilaepa told Radio Australia that the change has been cleared with international time zone authorities.

    "international time zone authorities." What? who are these people?

    May 9, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Ahhh, we finally found out what "The Event" is.

      May 9, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    Lonesome trolls. What can you do?

    May 9, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Hi cesar. I know when it is you.

      May 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cesar

    La la la la.

    May 9, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      I sense something exotic about you. lol

      May 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. 2nd Chance

    So if you die in Eastern Samoa, they can ship your body to Western Samoa and you'll get a chance to save yourself.

    May 9, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • BSW

      Well, I'm not sure about the resurection option, but say a baby is born in Eastern Samoa and quickly goes to Western Samoa. What could be done on the 'day before you were born' of official record? Baptism or something like that? Try applying for a passport or government ID wiht the application date prior to the birthdate!

      May 9, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Haha. That's great.

      May 9, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • really?

      so, if your girlfriend thinks your too quick in bed, does this mean you last twice as long in bed?

      May 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      I think you've got it around the wrong way. If this changes goes through, Samoa (the western one) will be one day ahead of American Samoa (the eastern one) i.e. It will be Monday in Samoa, and Sunday in American Samoa.

      May 9, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
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