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Back to the Future: Samoa Skips Friday

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SAMOA — The people of Samoa will go to bed Thursday night and wake up Saturday morning. That’s because they’ve decided to literally skip a day, erasing Friday, Dec. 30, from the calendar. In doing so, they will jump across the International Date Line and realign with the western part of the world after spending a century with the east.

Samoa’s Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, said the economic reasons are why they’ve decided to shift back to the west. Currently, Samoa is operating almost 24 hours behind its two largest business partners: Australia and New Zealand. That means the work week is limited to Tuesday through Thursday.  “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.”

After the transition is made, Samoa will instead be a few hours ahead of the Pacific Rim giving them a jump start on business for the day. This isn’t the first time Samoa’s jumped the line for business though. Back in 1892, the country decided to pick up an extra day and match schedules with California for shipping reasons.

Although Samoa has decided to switch back, American Samoa plans to stay in the same time zone. That means that flying between the two Samoas, you can literally travel through time. In less than an hour by air, you can jump from Thursday to Friday. Flying the other way? You can go back in time and relive Wednesday.

The move is scheduled to take place at midnight on Thursday, December 29.

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