Europe to Set Clocks Back for Winter Time Sunday

By Robert Waldner on 23 October 2014
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The last Sunday in October marks the start of Winter Time in Europe. Next Sunday, residents will turn their clocks back one hour, which is similar to the procedure in moving from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time in the United States. Summer Time is observed in every European country except for Iceland and Belarus.

For the first time since it switched to Daylight Saving Time in March, 2011, Russia will change its clocks to Winter Time on Sunday as well. The country plans to stay on permanent Winter Time for the foreseeable future as the eternal Daylight Saving Time was not very popular.

During Summer Time in Europe, clocks are turned forward one hour. Both Winter Time and Summer Time can be traced back to World War I, although the practice was stopped when the war was over. However, during World War II, it was reinstated by many European countries only to be discontinued yet again in the 1950s.

Summer Time was adopted in 1981 by the European Community, with a start date on the last Sunday in March. The start date for Winter Time has changed nine times over the years, and currently is the last Sunday in October.

The concepts of Summer and Daylight Saving Time are very similar to each other, as they are both systems that manage the changing amounts of daylight that occur during the year. The ultimate goal was to maximize daylight hours during the typical workday. In 1784, Benjamin Franklin is said to have proposed the system, believing that it would save an “immense sum.” The United States didn’t adopt the system until the early twentieth century, when Daylight saving Time was used as an energy-saving measure.

By turning clocks ahead by one hour, people have more daylight available during the workday. This means that early evening hours will still have sunlight, leading people to take advantage of the additional daylight.

Most of Asia, Africa, and South America do not observe Daylight Saving Time at all.

Daylight Saving Time will end in the United States on November 2. Until then, times in Europe and the U.S. will be off sync by an hour more than usual.  In 2015, Summer Time in Europe will begin on March 29, three weeks after Daylight Saving Time starts in North America.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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