World welcomes in 2016

While it may not be 2016 in the United States and Europe just yet, some countries in the Southern Hemisphere have already begun their New Year celebration.

Samoa and Kiribati were the first countries to ring in the New Year.

New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and parts of Russia have since joined in celebration.

The Israeli term for the Gregorian calendar's New Year’s eve celebrations are known as “Silvester,” in reference to the Christian Saint and Roman Pope who reigned during the Council of Nicaea (325 CE).  

Several countries, primarily in Europe, also use a variant of Silvester's name as the preferred name for the holiday.

In Israel, the holiday is celebrated by those who mark the secular new year with parties, social get-togethers, concerts, and dining out in major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Baker Island in the United States will be among the last spots on the globe to welcome in 2016.


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