Daylight Saving Time

You’d think it’s impossible to change time but in the UK and around Europe we do indeed change the time. Twice a year the clocks are changed across the continent to adapt to the daylight and dark. 

As per the saying “spring forward and fall back”, the clocks are moved forward by one hour on the last Sunday of March. The clocks are then moved back by one hour on the last Sunday of October. Many countries around the world follow suit on different days and many countries simply never alter their clocks, meaning the time differences around the world change throughout the year. 

Many of us enjoy having a routine in life and it’s exactly for this reason that the clocks are changed. Being so far north on the planet, the days become very short during the winter months and long during the summer. By moving the clocks back and forth, we adapt our typical daily routines to the available natural daylight. 

 

There are a couple of different background stories to the reason for Daylight Saving Time. Some suggest it was Germany who introduced this back in 1919 and that during the two world wars, the European countries in conflict were constantly changing their decision about the time. Alternatively, it could have been George Hudson, a New Zealander, who came up with the concept in 1895. As an entomologist, he wanted longer daylight hours to do his outdoor job and so proposed the idea to the government. 

 

No matter what the history, countries across the globe have adopted this idea whilst many temporarily followed suit then reverted their decision. Supposedly, it wasn’t until the global oil crisis in 1973 that it became a unanimous decision that all European countries would work on the same time zone and change the clocks twice a year. Energy became extremely expensive and Daylight Saving Time provided more daylight hours, pushing for less electricity to be consumed. Having said that, it remains a contentious issue to this day and has even been debated in the European Parliament. 

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