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We are on the cusp of daylight saving time as it ends for 2017 this weekend. But what does that actually mean? Do the clocks fall behind or ahead? When do clocks fall back? When does daylight saving time end? We’re going to examine the history of daylight savings time and try to explain why it came about in the first place. We’ve also got all the information you need on when to change your clocks!

The History of Daylight Savings

When the original daylight saving time change began depends on your interpretation. Ancient civilizations may not have had actual clocks or kept track of hours like we do today, but they would change the daily work schedules due to comings and goings of the sun. For example, farmers would try to get out into the fields with the sun, in order to get as much work done as possible. In the time before gas lighting or electric light, the sun was the only light source outside, so using daylight to it’s utmost was very important.

Modern Daylight Savings Time

Daylight savings time as we know it today comes from different sources. What you may not know is that it wasn’t a mass decision to switch. It was slowly, over a period of time that the world would adopt the idea. It’s also hard to pinpoint who actually came up with the idea. Benjamin Franklin is often given credit for daylight savings time, due to his publishing of the proverb “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” but Franklin did not create daylight savings time. In the west, the main person responsible for daylight savings time is William Willett, an English builder who enjoyed being in the outdoors and playing golf. Essentially, Willett noticed that many people ended up sleeping through part of the day in the summer because they were still following the same schedule. Willett also disliked the fact he had to cut his golf game short, despite the fact there was still daylight. He would go on to purpose the idea of daylight savings time in 1908.

The practice of daylight savings time would be abandoned in many countries after World War I, but would come back during World War II. During the 1970s energy crisis, daylight savings time gained firm ground as it was supposedly helping save energy by using less electricity. That being said, in current times, many countries and areas have attempted to get rid of daylight savings time as modern working hours, and modern lighting has gotten rid of many of the issues that daylight savings time was created to help with.

Daylight Savings in Your Area

Daylight savings time changes, depending on the country and sometimes on the specific states/provinces/territories within those countries. For example, daylight savings time has already ended in most of Europe, as it began on Sunday, March 26, 2017, at 1:00 a.m. and then ended Sunday, October 29, 2017, at 2:00 a.m. In all cases, the end of daylight savings time requires you to fall back or set your clock one hour behind what it is currently set at.

In the United States and Canada, daylight savings time began on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at 2:00 a.m. and will be ending on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at 2:00 a.m.

In Cuba, Bermuda, and Haiti daylight savings time began on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at 2:00 a.m. and will be ending on Sunday, November 5, 2017, at 2:00 a.m.

In other parts of the world like Australia, Brazil, Chile, Fiji, and New Zealand, you don’t have to worry about daylight savings time for a few months. In the meantime, the rest of us will get to sleep in an extra hour this weekend!