With only only 2 days till the new year hails in 2019, many will be hurrying to make their new years resolutions and, this year, proming to keep them. Just like last year.

Some interesting facts about the new year:

The current date of the new year has changed over time. It originated thousands of years ago in ancient Babylon, celebrated as an eleven day festival on the first day of spring. During this time, many cultures used the sun and moon cycle to decide the “first” day of the year. It wasn’t until Julius Caesar implemented the Julian calendar that January 1st became the common day for the celebration. The content of the festivities has varied as well. While early celebrations were more paganistic in nature, celebrating Earth’s cycles, Christian tradition celebrates the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ on New Year’s Day. Roman Catholics also often celebrate Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, a feast honoring Mary. However, in the twentieth century, the holiday grew into its own celebration and mostly separated from the common association with religion. It has become a holiday associated with nationality, relationships, and introspection rather than a religious celebration, although many people do still follow older traditions.

Hindu New Year falls on a different day every year, for example, because the Hindu calendar is a lunisolar calendar. This holiday is one of the most auspicious days for Telugus and Kannadigas. The Saka calendar begins with the month of Chaitra (March–April) and Ugadi marks the first day of the new year.

Eastern Australia wold be thought to ring in the new year, but the tiny Pacific island of Tonga will ring in 2019 at 10am GMT on December 31 – a full three hours before it reaches Down Under.

The last place or places to receive 2019 will be the tiny outlying islands of the US. Baker Island and Howland Island will greet the New Year at 12 Mid-day on January 1 – or at least they would if any people lived there.

Second last will be American Samoa at 11am – just 558 miles from Tonga, where locals and visitors were celebrating a full 25 hours before.

It's therefore possible to get a quick flight in between the two and count down to 2019 twice.

Using London time, this is when the world will welcome 2019:

Sun 10:00 Tonga and two more
Sun 11:00 New Zealand
Sun 13:00 Australia
Sun 15:00 Japan & South Korea
Sun 15:30 North Korea
Sun 16:00 China, Philippines, Singapore
Sun 17:00 Most of Indonesia
Sun 17:30 Myanmar and Cocos Islands
Sun 18:00 Bangladesh
Sun 18:15 Nepal
Sun 18:30 India and Sri Lanka
Sun 19:00 Pakistan
Sun 19:30 Afghanistan
Sun 20:00 Azerbaijan
Sun 20:30 Iran
Sun 21:00 Moscow/Russia
Sun 22:00 Greece
Sun 23:00 Germany
Mon 00:00 United Kingdom
Mon 02-3:00 Brazil
Mon 03:00 Argentina, Paraguay
Mon 03:30-8:00 USA, Canada
Mon 09:00 Alaska
Mon 10:00 Hawaii
Mon 11:00 American Samoa
Mon 12:00 US outlying islands (Baker Island, Howland Island etc)

Happy New Year!!
I have to stay home New Years Eve because of the British love of fireworks, which my furbaby boys hate. So I shall see 2019 in the same way as last year, with the boys and maybe a few online friends.

Whatever you choose to do to ring in the New Year. Here's hoping that it's a great one for everyone. Let's hope at least some of you fulfill your wishes and that happiness dwells in your hearts.