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World Advent Calendar

by Mandy Barrow

Christmas Jokes | British Christmas | London Topic | Project Britain | Homework Help

Which country will see the sunrise first on Christmas day?

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New Zealand is the first country to see the sun on Christmas morning.

According to the Greenwich Observatory, New Zealand's Balleny Islands are the first land to have sunrise each day.

New Zealand is the first country on the western side of the International Date Line, the place where each day begins.

(We wrote about Christmas in New Zealand on Day 2 of our Advent Calendar)

Current time Chatham Islands, New Zealand

The International Date Line is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth that sits mostly on the 180º line of longitude in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.


The International Date Line lies on the opposite side of the world to the Prime Meridian (The Prime Meridian passes through Greenwich in London. It separates the Eastern and Western Hemispheres).


The International Date Line separates two consecutive calendar days.

Immediately to the left of the International Date Line (the date) is always one day ahead of the date (or dayimmediately to the rightof the International Date Line in the Western Hemisphere. 

People crossing the line from East to the West skip forward a day. Those crossing from the West to the East repeat the day.

Interesting Facts

If you flew from Tonga (on the Western side of the International Date Line) to Samoa (on the Eastern side) it takes two hours. But because you cross the IDL, you arrive 22 hours before you left!

The island of Kiribati used to be on the Eastern side of the International Date Line but is now on the Western side. of the line. It changed sides in order to be the first nation to see in the year 2000.


Advent Calendar

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Facts and information about LondonBritish Royal FamilyVirtual Tour of the Thames

Special facts and information about each month of the yearInformation on Britain and the UK for Kids of all agesBritish History

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Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant.
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.

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