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Time change: how did this habit come about?

It's in this month that the time change happens and NMatosinhos decided to bring to its readers the answer, that everyone is looking for, to the question: after all, why does the time change?

The answer to this question is, by the way, very simple: savings. But, let's go back in time to better understand this concept.

Contrary to what one might think, Benjamin Franklin did not "invent" the time change. This phenomenon was attributed to the American polymath when he suggested to Parisians, through a satirical publication in the Journal de Paris in 1784, to change their sleeping habits to save money on candles and lamps.

In it, Franklin suggested that as soon as the sun rose, the bells of all the churches should be rung, and if even that was not enough to wake people up, the cannons should be fired in all the streets so that they would wake up for their own good.

The story of the time change continues in 1895, when George Hudson, a New Zealand biologist, proposed the concept of "daylight saving time". The reason was understandable: Hudson wanted to have more hours of sunlight to go hunting and study insects in the summer.

But it was William Willet, an English builder and, curiously, the great-great-grandfather of Chris Martin, lead singer of the band Coldplay, who made the idea official, presenting it to the British Parliament with the aim of preventing the nation from wasting sunlight. Supported by Winston Churchill and Arthur Conan Doyle, the idea was, however, rejected by the government. Willet tried to get the concept approved until the time of his death in 1915. As early as 1916, during World War I, the German government started thinking of ways to save energy until Willet's idea of moving the clock forward one hour and having an extra hour of sunshine during working hours was remembered. While in England it was still talked about from year to year without any change, Germany decided to implement "daylight saving time" and most of the countries that entered the First World War quickly joined the concept, not least because by saving energy they saved coal, a very important element in times of war.

Although there are those who do not agree with this measure, many countries continue to implement it, especially in the European Union, and the truth is that it allows to take advantage of one more hour of natural light and, consequently, to save energy.

Portugal is one of the countries that change the time, so at 01:00 on March 26, don't forget to put your watch forward an hour.


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