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Clocks go back this weekend in traditional winter reset
The changeover to winter time takes place this year on the night of Saturday 28 October to Sunday 29 October. Clocks will be set back one hour at 3.00.
While some will celebrate the extra hour of sleep, many will feel a sense of trepidation at the darkening evenings and approach of winter.
The time change in Europe – and the current system of having summer time and winter time – is an old tradition that dates back to the First World War. It was an attempt to save energy for the war effort by reducing the need for lighting during longer, brighter evenings.
But legislators never thought about how difficult it would be for people in the future to remember to reset clocks, for example in electric ovens and cars.
Although the number of hours of daylight varies around the globe, there’s no real scientific basis for changing clocks. It’s possible to argue for the social and economic advantages or disadvantages of lighter mornings or lighter evenings.
In 2019, the European parliament voted to no longer mandate it at an EU level, leaving it up to national governments to decide. But the move has not advanced due to successive crises and difficulty selecting which time to keep.
Meanwhile, the clocks will go forward again by one hour to restart summer time on 31 March 2024.