The winter nights are drawing in, the evenings are getting shorter and Halloween is only days away; which means, soon enough the clocks will fall back!
Here’s everything you need to know…
When will the clocks go back?
This year, the clocks go back one hour at 2am on Sunday, October 29th, allowing us to enjoy an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning.
Will the time on my phone update automatically?
As long as your phone or device is connected to the internet via 4G or WiFi, the time will change automatically. However, don’t forget to change any wall clocks or oven-timers manually.
Why do the clocks go back?
According to sources, Benjamin Franklin first proposed the idea to change the clocks while he was in Paris in 1784, on the grounds that if people got out of bed an hour earlier, they’d get extra daylight.
However, the change wasn’t introduced until during The First World War, when Germany and Austria used it as a way to save on coal usage. Ireland and UK quickly followed suit in May, 1916.
It had been discussed a number of years before by the government but many people opposed it the first time around.
According to an article by Ben Shorten for RTE, Irish public opinion appeared to be in favour of the introduction of daylight saving, ‘though scepticism – and good humour – abounded as to how it might work’.
In a letter to The Irish Times in May 1916, which stood out in the press dominated by articles on the fall out from the Easter Rising, the writer warned those with court dates scheduled of the importance of keeping to the new time: “…a sleepy plaintiff or complainant who arrives an hour after his case has been dismissed with costs may get a shock, while a defendant may be dumbfoundered [sic] to find an escort ready to march him off to undergo a month’s hard labour for an offence to which he may have had a perfect answer.”
In the UK, a man called William Willett wrote a whole pamphlet about Daylight Saving in 1907 called The Waste of Daylight, about how people wasted valuable hours of light during the summer. Mr Willett was also a keen golfer and reportedly became annoyed when it got too dark for him to continue playing in the evening. Unfortunately for him, he died in 1915 before daylight saving was introduced.
Does the change in time mark the official start of winter?
The ‘official start of winter’ can be considered either astronomically or meteorologically, but neither coincides with the clock change this year.
Astronomical seasons are relative to the position of the Earth’s orbit around the sun taking into account equinoxes and solstices, while meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles.
The meteorological winter begins on December 1, 2017 and will end on February 28, 2018.
The astronomical winter begins on December 21, 2017 and ends on March 20, 2018.
When do the clocks go forward again?
The clocks will revert to ‘summer time’ springing forward one hour at 1am on March 25th, 2018.