Get ready for longer evenings and family BBQs because daylight savings is just around the corner!
Daylight saving, also called ‘summer time’ in some countries, is when we change the clocks by an hour in order to shorten or lengthen the amount of sunlight in the evenings. With summer approaching, we will be turning clocks forward so that we have an extra hour of light before the sun sets at night. Sometimes we refer to this as “springing forward” because we are currently in the Spring season. In Autumn, we “fall back” and turn the clocks back an hour so that it is dark earlier in the evenings over Winter.
The idea of daylight savings was thought up in 1895 by a New Zealander called George Hudson, although many ancient people were flexible in changing the times of their days to suit the sun and seasons.
Hudson studied entomology (insects) and astronomy (space), and wanted more leisure time in the evenings to collect insects. He presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society after lots of people became interested in his idea, and the Summer-Time Act was passed in 1927 (nearly 100 years ago).
Daylight savings is practiced in lots of countries all around the world. Many people find that longer evenings allow more time for activities like sports and socialising, however it can be troublesome for some professions such as farming in which workers start their days early. Another benefit of daylight savings is that we can save on energy, as we don’t need to turn our lights on as early in the evening.
In New Zealand, daylight savings happens overnight on the last Sunday of September, which will be the 25th this year. How are you going to spend your extra time?
Check out the library catalogue for inspiration on fun outdoor activities and to learn more about seasons!
It’s nearly time to turn the clocks back as daylight saving comes to an end this weekend.
I am always a little sad when daylight saving finishes as it means that winter is on the way and the long hot (or warm) summer is over.
You might like to check out some history on daylight saving in New Zealand. I discovered that in 1909 a Parliamentarian Hon Sir Thomas Sidey argued for putting clocks forward by one hour during summer so that there would be an additional hour of daylight in the evenings. In that year he introduced a Member’s Bill to put this idea into effect. The Bill was rejected, but Sidey was persistent, reintroducing it every year for the next 20 years.
That is very persistent, and you can read all about it here.
So enjoy the last days of summer and remember the one good thing is that we do get another hour to sleep in!
Daylight Savings Time is when we put our clocks forward one hour so that evenings have more daylight, and mornings have less. This is typically done near the start of spring, and clocks set back one hour to normal time in Autumn.
In 2013 NZ daylight saving will end on Sunday April 7th (that’s this week!) when the clocks go back one hour – 3:00 AM becomes 2:00 AM. Enjoy your sleep in!
Daylight saving starts again on Sunday September 29 when the clocks go forward one hour – 2:00 AM becomes 3:00 AM.
These links have some fascinating information about the history and origin of Daylight savings; www.timeanddate.com ; Wikipedia Daylight Savings
Here are a few books you can reserve and borrow from your local library to learn more about Time!
Really really big questions about space and time by Mark Brake
Just a second by Steve Jenkins
The time book; a brief history from lunar calendars to atomic clocks by Martin Jenkins