Every year we change our clocks twice a year. The first change comes in March when they go forward by an hour, and they then change again in October, when they go back an hour. It can be a confusing process – so when does the change happen this year and why? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know on the process.
The main reason we change the clocks forward in Spring and back in Autumn is to make better use of daylight.
British Summer Time is the period during the year when we see lighter mornings and evenings, giving us more daylight during our waking hours.
But when the clocks go back in October, this sees the nights draw in quicker – meaning its darker earlier in the evening.
The process was originated by American politician and inventor called Benjamin Franklin in 1784.
Clocks go back: Does the clock go back tonight – When do clocks go back?
Franklin realised that if people got up earlier, when it was lighter, they would need to use less candles.
But Franklin wasn’t the only one to propose the idea of changing the clocks.
In the UK, a builder called William Willett – who happens to be Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s great-great-grandfather – also thought it was a good idea. In 1907, he published a leaflet called The Waste of Daylight.
He was a keen golfer and wanted to encourage people to get up earlier in the day, as he was annoyed that it would get too dark in the evenings for him to carry on playing his favourite sport.
Clocks go back: Every year we change our clocks twice
Sadly for William, changing the clocks was only introduced in 1916 – a year after he died.
And now the process could be reversed altogether after MEPs in the European Union voted to scrap the changing of the clocks in March 2019.
Under the new legislation, governments opting to make summer time permanent would adjust their clocks for the last time on the last Sunday in March 2021.
For those choosing permanent standard time – also called winter time – the final clock change would be on the last Sunday of October 2021.
Clocks go back: The main reason we change the clocks is to make better use of daylight
When do the clocks go back?
In 2020, the clocks will change on October 25, going back one hour at 2am.
Does the clock go back tonight?
Clocks also go back one hour on the last Sunday of October. So this means you still have a week to wait!
This also means from 2am next Sunday morning, the UK is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).