When is the time changed this spring? What does it obey?

The two annual time changes are already a custom to which Spanish society has become accustomed over the years. We currently have the winter schedule, which is imposed at the end of October, and in just two months the change to summer time will arrive, which this year will take place the early morning of Saturday, March 28 to Sunday 29, at which time the clocks will have to be moved forward one hour and 2 o’clock will become 3 o’clock. But the time change has a series of economic and historical reasons that today are in doubt, that is why this custom seems to have its days numbered in the European Union. We see it.

Where and when did it start?

He was the American statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin, while living in Paris in the late 18th century, who first conceived the notion of approaching sunrise to make better use of sunlight. He observed, in 1784, how many candles could be saved if people woke up earlier and, although he never proposed to advance the clocks, he whimsically suggested firing cannons in every square at dawn «to wake up the lazy and make them open their eyes to see their true interest.» .

But it was not until 1895 that the New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson became the first to suggest moving the clocks forward in summer. He proposed a two-hour adjustment for five months of the year. While some New Zealanders were intrigued by Hudson’s idea, many ridiculed him, and New Zealand didn’t adopt DST until 1927, more than ten years after many other countries started using it.

Summer or winter hours all year round (BigStock)

Why is one hour early?

On nineteen ninety six, after many years of lack of uniformity of time policy in Europe, especially between the continent and the United Kingdom, the European Union adopted a summer term from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.

Summer time has a multitude of benefits for energy use, agriculture and even the mood. Some experts on the subject argue that daylight saving time does not actually save energy, since less use of it at night would be offset by more use during the day. The health impacts have been widely publicized, and it is known that people can get more exposure to sunlight during the summer months, increasing their vitamin D levels.

However, critics argue that the disruption of circadian rhythms, or sleep patterns, can have a negative impact on health and other studies have found that the risk of having a heart attack increases in the first three days of the week after switching to summer time in spring.

The best sunsets in Spain Finisterre (Bigstock)

Economic effects

Daylight saving time is believed to have an impact on the economy, but it is also a disputed view among experts. Yes OK retail and tourism industries benefit of the extra daylight hours in summer, that may be offset by some of the health effects mentioned above. The agricultural industry, traditionally, does not like summer time too much because of its impact on certain factors such as, for example, the milking of the cows or the harvest.

Recent EU regularization

Last March, the European Parliament approved the proposal that asks the states to stop the time change twice a year from 2021, and permanently choose summer or winter time. Therefore, it gives the option to the Governments of each state to choose what time you prefer to stay permanently throughout the year. According to an EU directive, the 28 states are currently required to switch to summer time on the last Sunday in March and return to winter time on the last Sunday in October.

The European Commission, in charge of drafting EU legislation, made the proposal in 2018, after a public consultation which showed 84% of respondents wanted to eliminate biannual time changes. MEPs and the Commission emphasize that states must coordinate your choices, to minimize the risk of economic disruption to a mosaic of different time zones.