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Someone took 1 hour of my bedtime! Why do the clocks go forward?

By Emil 03/03/2020

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Since 1964, Bob Dylan has been singing that the times they are a-changing. At this time of year, it’s hard to argue. Times are changing and clocks go forward.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is upon us. It’s the practice of changing the clocks to ensure darkness falls later each day between Spring and Autumn

On the last Sunday of October, we’re given an extra hour in bed. And on March 29th, when the clocks go forward, we’ll trade this hour for some more daylight in the evening. This is important when you’re based in Scotland like we are :rain_cloud: :partly_sunny:

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Like many inventions, it goes back to the Romans

While ancient civilizations – including the Greeks, Persians, and Mayans – all recognized the need to measure the time in a more sophisticated way than just day and night, it was the Romans who formalized the process. 

They needed a construct to address the fact that while the solar day is constant, the duration of daylight across the world varies throughout the year. You see, solar time is based on the position of the sun in the sky. The sun is an indicator of time.

Civil time, or what we in the modern world commonly recognize as time, is a concept. It’s not astrological but human-made, is dealt differently around the world, and is reflected in your watch.

The Romans were among the first to understand this. They came up with the concept of what we now know as Daylight Saving Time and began to manipulate their clocks accordingly. The process has been fine-tuned over time. 

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Fast-forward to the 20th century, and the idea of summer time makes its way across Europe, the United States, and some parts of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Canada started adopting daylight saving time in 1908. Port Arthur in Ontario became the first city in the world to introduce DST in its modern use. The United States joined the DST club in 1918.

Europe followed suit in adopting the practice, but called it something different. Daylight Saving Time is referred to as summer time in the United Kingdom and European Union. 

The process of losing or gaining an hour – “spring forward, fall back” – is known simply as the clocks changing. 

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The European parliament recently voted to end DST by the year 2021. That means European nations will soon remain in permanent summer time or permanent winter time.

If permanent winter time sounds a little Game of Thrones, it’s not as gloomy as all that. What it means is a choice between permanently lighter mornings in winter (winter time) or permanently lighter evenings in summer (summer time). 

This is where things get a little confusing. Rather than the European Parliament choosing summer time or winter time, and rolling that choice out to every EU nation, they will instead allow each individual nation to choose their preference. 

Of the 27 EU nations, some will be on winter time, others will be on summer time. To further muddy the waters, European nations who are not members of the EU – a group which will soon include the United Kingdom – are not obliged to follow the EU in ending Daylight Saving Time

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So how will it affect your business..? It won’t. Not if you use Appointedd. 

Appointedd’s first-of-its-kind multi-timezone feature autodetects the timezone your customers are in and automatically offers them booking options in their own timezone. 

Appointedd helps you manage your schedule, serve a global customer base, and avoid complicated timezone math. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about how Appointedd can help you avoid timezone confusion, book a call with one of our team (in your own timezone, of course). 

Or, if you’re curious, why not jump straight into our software and start a 14-day free trial?

 

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