Wednesday, December 8

All about the time change of this 2021: day and time for the change

The custom of turning the clock back in winter and advancing it in summer became widely used in 1974.

Winter is getting closer and closer and the long and sunny days of summer are hard to remember. At dawn that goes from this Saturday, October 30 to Sunday, the winter atmosphere will take one more step, because from then on it will get dark an hour earlier. Thus, citizens residing in Spain must delay the hands of their clocks by one hour: at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday it will be 2:00 a.m. again. In the case of the Canary Islands, at 2.00 hours it will become 1.00 in the morning, thus resuming winter time.

However, Spain will not be the only one to update its clocks, since, with the aim of saving energy, all the countries of the European Union they will change their time to adjust the working day to the hours of natural light. Thus, as of Sunday, October 31, it will dawn and dusk one hour earlier. It will be like this until next March, where we will make the change of spring 2022 again.

What day is the time changed?

The change to winter time in Spain occurs at dawn on the last Sunday in October, which this year coincides with the last day of the month, the 31st. This has been the case since 1996: before the autumn time change was carried out on last Sunday of September.

Should the clock be advanced or delayed?

In the fall time change the clock must be turned back one hour. The exact time to do it is the early morning of October 31, when at three in the morning it will be two again. If you plan to be in bed at that time, the most comfortable thing is to set all the clocks in the house to go to sleep to get up on Sunday with the real time.

It is advisable to turn back all the clocks in the house when going to sleep to get up on Sunday with the real time. ShutterStock

The time change is made throughout the European Union

This regulation is mandatory in all EU member countries and aims to achieve energy savings and take advantage of the hours of natural light. It also supposes a benefit for sectors such as transport and communications, for road safety, working conditions, health, tourism and leisure, as argued by the European Commission in 1999.

Do you save with the time change?

One of the arguments that support the time change is the data provided by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), which estimates that the potential energy savings round the 5% only in Spain. This percentage represents about 350 million euros. Of this amount, around 100 million would correspond to domestic consumption (about 7 euros per household), and the rest, to the industry or the lighting of service buildings.

Health consequences of the time change

The change to winter time can especially affect people with pathologies, nursing babies and the elderly. The effects of the change in biorhythms are similar but less abrupt than the ‘jet-lag’ phenomenon, which occurs after a long journey. Upon waking up, when the biological clock marks the time to which it is accustomed, it is when alterations occur, although in a short time the body compensates and adapts. May cause drowsiness, irritability, tiredness, or trouble concentrating.

The time change can cause drowsiness, irritability, tiredness or difficulty concentrating. ShutterStock

Last time change?

The European Commission carried out in 2018 a public consultation of all European citizens in which more than 80% of the 4.6 million people who participated were in favor of ending the time changes. With this result, the Commission proposed to end this practice and that the last time change should take place in March 2019. The lack of consensus between the states and of impact evaluations has caused Europe to delay until 2021 the possible cancellation of the time change.

The origin of the time change

The origin of the time change dates back to Ancient Rome, when the Roman hourglass or water clock had different scales depending on the month of the year. Thus, in the latitude of Rome, the third hour after sunrise, the tertian hour, began (using modern time) at 09:02 and lasted 44 minutes at the winter solstice, but in the summer it began at 06 : 58 and lasted 75 minutes, according to the historian Jérôme Carcopino.

Much closer, another of The antecedents of modern daylight saving time can be traced back to April 30, 1916, when, in the middle of World War I, the German government decided that all clocks would be set forward one hour to reduce the use of artificial light and save energy.

Two years later and, with the same purpose of saving energy in the framework of the First World War, American President Woodrow Wilson signed a decree in 1918 to advance the time. However, all these initiatives were reversed once the war ended. The custom of turning the clock back in winter and advancing it in summer it became widely used in 1974, after the first oil crisis, in order to make better use of sunlight and consume less electricity.

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