Samoa loses (a) Friday

In order to facilitate a hop from the east side of the International Date Line to the west, the island nation of Samoa just skipped from December 29th directly to December 31st. Samoans went to sleep last night on Thursday, and woke up Saturday. The change was intended to better link Samoa with its Asian trading partners.

Though this isn’t part of a redefinition of the week, it is an interesting example of a manipulation of the calendar to suit societal change. For religious fundamentalists, this shift will mean the Sabbath will be observed on a different day in Samoa than it has every week since 1892.

Samoan Seventh Day Adventists are wrestling with what to do. They are split into two camps. One will move the Sabbath to Sunday to preserve the rhythm of exactly seven days between each Sabbath. Others will worship on the day called Saturday, which means that for this one week, they will worship six days apart.

Another article asks:

For Jews, it poses a question of a different sort: When does Shabbat start in Samoa?

And are there really any Jews in Samoa?

More at The New York Times.

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