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

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. mad_kaw_rider

    See even the samoans know... time is moeny ! lol

    May 9, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jack

    "International time zone authorities".... sounds like a great job. Not many crises to deal with, cases come up about once every twenty years or so... Where do I apply?

    May 9, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jack

    We did the travel in time thing for the millenium – partied in Tokyo until 2 AM, hopped on a plane, arrived in Honolulu 7 hours later where it was still late-afternoon on Dec 31, then we started all over again. Cool... I would do it again in Samoa, why not....

    May 9, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Sari

      How fun!!! Where do I sign up?

      May 9, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Iron Dog

    You can do the same on the Diomede Islands – only 1 miles between the Russian and Alaskan sides... But the beaches are not as nice as Samoa.

    May 9, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. United States? what a crock

    rock and roll somao!!

    May 9, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Fuyuko

    As long as I got paid for the day I "Lost" I'd be good with it.

    May 9, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin

    pretty crazy that they are changing the time zone to create this unique occurrence..

    check out this time zone map to see the current time in any city...

    May 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. what the

    At first, I thought it said "Samosa"....

    May 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ty

      Did someone say mimosa???

      May 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rethink

    Kind of a lousy stock photo. Horizon is totally crooked.

    May 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jinda

    Samoa, I really LOVE your Girl Scout cookies!

    May 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • RARRR

      and that wrestler too

      May 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thinkfirst

    If you were born in the American Samoa, will the birthers hate you for being elected as US president because you were born in two time zones?

    May 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jazzzzzzzzzz

    That Picture looks just like the (Deskstop pic) on my cmoputer at work here... mine is at night. that is my perfect place the beach with an ocean view with a blue hue in the sky.

    May 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Cesar

    I sense the same about you mama

    May 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Could you change to your name or is the riff about the name?

      May 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Read you later.

      May 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Andrew Berquist

    If you were born in American Samoa, you'd be a US National, so you can't run for President anyway. =)

    May 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Evidently only if you had the long form.

      May 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Andrew

    (As for Stock Photos, i"m pretty sure that's Manu'a, American Samoa *not* Western Samoa.

    May 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
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