Freezing cold nights aren’t the only major change winter brings – with one less hour of sunlight in the evenings.
The clocks go back at the end of October, which means waving goodbye to British Summer Time once again until March 2017.
This year is a special year for the clocks changing too, with it being the 100th anniversary since we started turning the clocks back.
When do the clocks go back?
The exact time you need to change them this year is 2am on October 30. The clocks will go back an hour in 2017 on October 29. If you find yourself confused about which way the clocks will be going remember ‘Spring forward, fall back.
Do the clocks change due to the equinoxes?
While the equinoxes and clocks changing forward and back happen around the same time of year – they aren’t actually related.
The date of the equinoxes are determined by the position of the moon, the Sun and the Earth while the date the clocks change is set by the government.
The date the clocks go back only changes each year because it is the last Sunday in October on the Gregorian calendar. The clocks go forward on the last Sunday in March.
Why do the clocks go back?
Because of Coldplay. No, really. Chris Martin’s great-great-grandfather, William Willett, came up with the bright idea of British Summer Time back in 1907.
He spent much of his life trying to convince people they should get out of bed an hour earlier in the spring to make the most of the brighter mornings, although he died just before it was brought in in 1916.
The year in question was notable too because it was in the middle of the First World War and it was thought it might help the war effort and improve the economy. That and save fuel.
Clocks changing: the facts
We have had 100 years of changing the clocks twice a year. Daylight Saving was introduced in the UK by William Willet to make the most of natural daylight. He was keen to prevent people from wasting vital hours of light during summer mornings by starting the day earlier, making the mornings darker but creating longer evenings. He published a pamphlet called ‘The Waste of Daylight’ in a bid to get people out of bed earlier by changing the nation’s clocks. Germany was actually the first country to introduce the scheme on April 30th 1916 during the First World War in order to save fuel and give people more time to work in the fields. The UK followed suit soon after. Lots of people think it should be scrapped altogether because the dark mornings are dangerous for children walking to school and the change means that the sun doesn’t rise in northern parts of the country until 10.00am.
Some want to scrap the whole thing
Some people think the extra hour would be more valuable after work rather than before, and we should just scrap the whole clocks going back thing.
They say it could even lead to fewer road accidents and help people keep more active after work or school.