December 31 is New Year’s Eve. That night, 1 million people are expected to pack into Times Square in New York City. At 11:59 p.m., the crowd will count down as a glowing crystal ball is lowered on a pole atop a skyscraper. Millions more people will watch on TV and online. When the clock strikes midnight, 2019 will officially arrive.
But when the partying in New York City winds down, many other Americans will still be getting ready to ring in the new year. That’s because the United States is split into six different time zones. A time zone is an area in which all clocks are set to the same, or a standard, time. Each is one hour earlier than the time zone to its east.
The Times Square celebration won’t be the only wacky “drop.” This map shows some others taking place across the U.S.