It's not quite 10 AM California time on December 31st 2016, but for my friends in Australia it is already 2017 and for my friends in Europe it's only another few hours, but have you ever wondered when the real start is of the new year? I mean, the world didn't come into existence with time zones. In fact the calendar that most of the world goes by is "The Gregorian Calendar" didn't come into affect until 1582, replacing the Julian Calendar, which was proposed by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. after the world had already been around for quite some time. Before that many calendars were based on a solar or lunar year. In some parts of the world the Julian calendar is still used, especially by the Eastern Orthodox Church. And other countries didn't make the switch to the Gregorian until the 20th century. China adopted it in 1912, Turkey 1917 & Russia 1918. In fact there are and have been many different calendars throughout the ages. Our current Gregorian Calendar requires that we add an extra day every four years (leap year), which would make a real year 365.25 days. The traditional Chinese New Year is based on the first new moon, which will be (according to the Gregorian Calendar) January 28th for 2017, but the date series from year to year. The Jewish New Year isn't until September 21st at sundown - 22nd sundown and it will be the year 5778. Confused? Me too, so I will end this here and leave you to your own research and decision of what year it is and when it really begins.
But wait! What time does even the currently common January 1st New Year begin? Well, in Tonga, it started about 8hrs & 45 Minutes ago. It is 10:45 AM in Los Angeles (Pacific Standard time) So, I guess for me it started at 2AM? and will reach me in about 13.25 hours. But then, that would mean that New Year's Day wouldn't officially end until 24 hours after it reaches Baker, Howland and any other outlying Pacific Islands in another 17.25 hours. So that would make the start of New year in Tonga until the end of New Year in the outlying islands. 8.75 + 17.25 =26 + 24 = 50 hrs? How did we wind up with a 26 hour day of starting the New Year? Mind you I'm going by a chart on the internet of counting down around the world. My math is right though? If Tonga started the New Year 8 hrs & 45 minutes ago. 8.75 Hours, when broken into quarters and the last New Year begins in 17.25 hours then that does make 26 hours. Interesting.