Daylight Saving Time Explained ~ 2 min read

Each year we change the time by 1 hour: once in March and once in October. This is called DST (Daylight Saving Time).

two clock showing when and how we change the time during fall and spring curious pavel
How we change the time


Daylight Saving Time (or “Summer Time,” as it’s known in many parts of the world) was created to make better use of the long sunlight hours of the summer. By “springing” clocks forward an hour in March, we move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. On the last Sunday in October, we rewind our clocks to return to Standard Time.

Where did Daylight Saving Time come from?

The idea was first suggested in an essay by Benjamin Franklin in 1784 but he is not the father of it. He just mentioned it. Daylight Saving Time was invented by George Hudson almost 100 years later. That happened in a city in the South Island of New Zealand as George was from New Zealand. A city in Canada also used it in 1908.

But the first countries to implement it were the German Empire and Austro-Hungary in 1916, during WWI. The idea was, instead of paying for electricity for homes, the money will go for war production. Other countries followed the example and DST was used during WWI and WWII. After WWII everybody was deciding for themselves. Some countries observe it only in some regions. For example, the USA used the DST during WWI & WWII but afterward, each individual state decided whether they wanted to continue observing the Daylight Saving Time and when to do so. That brought some confusion and in order to minimize them, in 1966, the length of Daylight Saving Time for the country was standardized. Another example is Brazil- The southern part of the country uses DST while the equatorial Northern part does not use it.

BUT WHY a country will divide itself like that?

Daylight Saving Time is most helpful to those who live farther from the equator, where daylight hours are much longer in the summer than in the winter. In locations closer to the equator, daylight hours and nighttime hours are nearly the same in length throughout the year. That’s why many equatorial cities and countries do not participate in Daylight Saving Time.

There are currently about 70 countries that participate in Daylight Saving Time which is not that much having in mind there are 195 countries in the world.

But it is not that simple…

A map of the world with countries in different colors showing which ones observe daylight saving time and if they have ever done it by curious pavel
Counties observing Daylight Saving Time

Blue: Northern DST; Orange: Southern DST, Grey: Never used DST; DARK Grey: Previously used DST


In the Northern Hemisphere, where Europe falls, Daylight Saving Time runs from the last Sunday in March through the last Sunday in October. In the southern hemisphere, where the summer season begins in December, Daylight Saving Time is recognized from December through March.
Kyrgyzstan and Iceland observe Daylight Saving Time year-round; equatorial countries do not observe Daylight Saving Time at all.

All in all, Daylight Saving Time suggest reducing crime and car accidents, extended daylight hours also improve energy conservation by allowing people to use less energy to light their businesses and homes. On the flip side, our bodies are getting confused with that change but I think we can deal with it in exchange for an extra hour of sunlight.

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3 thoughts on “Daylight Saving Time Explained ~ 2 min read

  1. I can never remember which way round the clocks go, so I always resort to your rhyme of “spring forward” 😀

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