Which Countries Change Their Clocks?
It’s not just the UK that changes its clocks twice a year – many countries all over the world observe daylight savings time. But what exactly is daylight savings time and why is it used? And which countries change their clocks? We investigate below.
What is daylight savings time?
Daylight savings time is when regions will change their clocks, typically by one hour. Usually, clocks will be put forward one hour in the summer and then put back again one hour in the winter.
Why do countries change their clocks?
Countries typically change their clocks to maximise daylight. When clocks are put forward in the summer, there will be more sunlight in the evenings. When the clocks go back in the autumn, there is more daylight in the mornings. The aim is to conserve energy used to light homes, as well as to lengthen the time that people can spend outside.
In Morocco, the change is not related to daylight but is instead due to the observation of Ramadan.
Countries that change their clocks
The first DST period lasts from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November. The regions that observe this period are:
- Canada (except Yukon, most of Saskatchewan, northeast British Columbia, Southampton Island in Nunavut, Atikokan in Ontario, Le Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent in Quebec)
- Mexico (Baja California and municipalities near the US border)
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- United States (except Arizona, Hawaii and US territories)
Most of these countries will implement DST at 02:00 am on the Sunday, but Cuba starts their period at midnight.
The next DST period lasts from the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October. This period is mainly observed by countries in Europe and some overseas territories of European countries, which include:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The European Union (except overseas France)
- Faroe Islands
- Isle of Man
- North Macedonia
- Northern Cyprus
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
- Vatican City
This period generally begins at 1am and finishes at 1am, except in Moldova. Here, the period will start at 2am and finish in October at 3am.
There are some regions that follow their own DST periods:
- Israel observes DST from the Friday before the last Sunday in March to the last Sunday in October.
- Lebanon observes DST from the last Thursday in March to the last Sunday in October.
- Egypt observes DST from the last Friday in April to the last Thursday in October
- Palestine observes DST from the last Saturday in April to the Saturday before the last Sunday in October
Egypt has had periods of observing and not observing DST, most recently starting again in 2023 in a bid to conserve energy.
For the southern hemisphere, fewer countries observe DST. The regions that do change their clocks include:
- Chile, from the first Saturday in September to the first Saturday in April
- Paraguay, from the first Sunday in October to the fourth Sunday in March
- Australia (Australian Capital Territory, Jervis Bay Territory, New South Wales (except Lord Howe Island), Norfolk Island, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria), from the first Sunday in October to the first Sunday in April
- Australia (Lord Howe Island), from the first Sunday in October to the first Sunday in April
- New Zealand, from the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April
All these regions will change their clocks by one hour, except for Lord Howe Island, which adjusts clocks by 30 minutes.
Countries that no longer change their clocks
There are many countries that used to change their clocks for DST but no longer do, including Brazil, Hong Kong, Iceland, and most of Mexico. Some regions chose to permanently adopt their DST time all year around, while others chose to revert back to the non-DST time.
There have also been proposals in the European Union and the USA to abolish DST. Experts state that money can be saved on energy if time is advanced by an hour permanently, as evenings will be brighter and less electric and gas will be required to light homes. It’s also been argued that there will be fewer road accidents, as there would be less need to drive in the dark if DST was adopted permanently. It’s also believed it would be better for individuals’ mental wellbeing, as they would have more time spent in daylight.
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