Beyond History Blog

Changing times

Avatar of Andrea Bentschneider Andrea Bentschneider - 22. October 2016 - General, Hamburg, Historical Events, Knowledge

It's happening again: this weekend in the night to 30th October the clocks will be switched to standard time. Since 1996, the EU has uniform regulations for the summer time; hence daylight saving time starts on the last Sunday in March and ends on the last Sunday in October. With the beginning of standard time in fall, the clocks are set back by one hour.

Considered to be a nuisance by many people today, the time change was introduced as a temporary measure during the world wars in order to make better use of natural light and thus save energy. Today, the allegedly positive effects on energy usage are controversially debated: according to the German federal environment agency the usage of electric light decreases between March and October during the summer time; on the other hand, more heating is necessary in the early hours of the day in cold months like March and April. What is more, many people feel the negative effects of the time change and the changed diurnal rhythm on their organisms.

Dangerous times

On the occasion of the time change there is also an anecdote to tell owing to a recent incident:

St. Katharinen church is one of the five main churches in Hamburg; its church books are valuable sources for many genealogical researches and are being used daily by genealogists. In the night from 14th to 15th October 2016, the minute hand of St. Katharinen church weighing 20 kilograms came loose and dropped from a height of 40 meters due to severe wind. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

Our conclusion: changing times can be stressful for some of us but apparently the clock of St. Katharinen church literally hit back this year.

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