In the European Union, Summer Time (called British Summer Time or BST in the United Kingdom, and Sommerzeit in Austria and Germany) will start this Sunday at 1:00 a.m. GMT. At this time, clocks should be set ahead by one hour.
The change will put both sides of the Atlantic back in sync with one another after a three-week period that followed the switch to Daylight Saving Time, which took place three weeks ago in the United States and parts of Canada.
Summer Time will end on October 26 and resume on March 29, 2015. Daylight Saving Time in the United States and Canada will end on November 2 and resume on March 8, 2015. Summer Time is a tradition observed in all European countries except for Russia, Belarus, and Iceland.
The concept of Summer or Daylight Saving Time was conceived to manage the changing amounts of daylight that occur during the year, with the goal being to maximize daylight hours during the typical workday. It was first proposed in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin, who believed it would save an “immense sum.” It was not broadly adopted until the early twentieth century when the U.S. temporarily enacted Daylight Saving Time as an energy-saving measure.
By adjusting clocks ahead by one hour, people generally have more daylight available during the workday. For example, in the case of someone who typically wakes up at 7:00 a.m., the individual would have to rise at 6:00 a.m. if they wished to take advantage of the additional daylight, since in the spring the sun rises earlier each day. Instead, by moving the clock ahead by one hour, that person can continue to wake up at 7:00 a.m. and enjoy more daylight in the early evening hours.
In order to avoid problems with Summer Time, European travelers should remember to set their watches and analog clocks one hour forward, as well as any computer, smartphone, or other electronic device that does not adjust automatically, on Saturday before retiring.
Most of Asia, Africa, and South America do not observe Daylight Saving Time at all.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)