This weekend Albertans (and our clocks) took a leap towards spring with Daylight Saving time. This allows us to enjoy sunlight longer into the evenings. With spring just around the corner and the days gradually getting longer, this time change is a harbinger of the season of growth and regeneration.
The conecpt of daylight savings dates back as far as 1895 in New Zealand, however the first country to implement this practice was the German Empire in 1916, as a way to conserve coal during wartime (it was known as Sommerzeit). Within the next two years, many countries worldwide, including Britain, Canada and the USA, followed suit. Daylight saving time is not generally observed in countries near the equator, as the variation in sunrise is not significant enough to warrant the change.
Here are some fun facts we have compiled about daylight saving time from around the globe:
- Egypt had four daylight saving time changes in 2010. It was
meant to make the month of Ramadan (which fell during a
hot summer that year) easier for Muslims.
- Newfoundland, which is half an hour off from the rest of
Canada, had a two-hour DST jump in 1988.
- Russia dropped two of its 11 time zones in 2010, then
abolished DST a year later. It’s now one of a few places in
the world that stays on summer hours all year. Argentina,
Iceland, Russia, Uzbekistan and Belarus also abide by
year-round summer hours.
- Samoa, which introduced DST in 2010, lost the entire day of
Dec. 30, 2011 when it switched time zones.
- Antarctica doesn’t get any daylight in the winter but still
practices DST to be in sync with supply stations in Chile and
- The Queen’s staff spend more than 50 hours adjusting 1,000
clocks across her residences.
Interested in learning more? You can find information available about this topic on the official wikipedia page for daylight saving time here.