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Daylight saving time 2023: Unlocking 5 surprising and little-known facts

Daylight saving time 2023 will end this weekend.

Millions of Americans are anticipating the national clock adjustment, which will go into effect on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, and will end on Sunday, March 10, 2024.

What is daylight saving time?

Daylight saving time is an age-old practice that many people love to hate.

Twice a year, we adjust our clocks, either losing or gaining an hour of precious sleep. But do we truly understand the purpose and history of this time-honored tradition?

In preparation for the time shift, Fox News Digital explored the ins and outs of daylight saving time, from its origins to its impact on our lives and the ongoing debate about its usefulness in the U.S.

Here are 5 little-known facts about daylight saving time.

Daylight Saving Time clock with "spring forward" sign

Daylight saving time happens two times a year and either adds or subtracts an hour.

Fall leaves next to analog clock

In November, millions of Americans turn back the clock when daylight saving time ends for fall.

1. Which two seasons are daylight saving time clock adjustments done for?

Daylight saving time clock adjustments are done in the third month and 11th month of a calendar year.

The first clock adjustment is done in March for spring, when daylight saving time starts, and the second clock adjustment is done in November for fall, when daylight saving time endsThe spring daylight saving time event adds an hour (“spring forward”) so “there is one less hour in the day,” while the fall daylight saving time subtracts an hour so “there is an extra hour in the day,” according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology

2. When do we expect clocks to change?

The two dates for daylight saving time change each year because they are implemented on the second Sunday of March and the second Sunday of November.

Daylight saving time clock adjustments happen at 2 a.m. each time, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

For spring daylight saving time, clocks jump forward to 3 a.m. once it strikes 2 a.m. local time, which skips 2 a.m. altogether.

Man puts on watch

Millions of Americans double-check their clocks and watches for daylight saving time. (iStock)

For fall daylight saving time, the opposite happens, and clocks jump backward to 1 a.m. once it strikes 2 a.m. local time, so the hour is repeated before it moves in chronological order again.


3. How did daylight saving time get its start?

The first instance of daylight saving time happened in Germany on April 6, 1916, during World War I, according to the Textual Records Division of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

4. How many countries observe daylight saving time?

Only 71 countries observe daylight saving time, according to Time and Date, a Norwegian-owned time zone and global clock website.

moon surface

Not every country observes daylight saving time.

Daylight saving time reportedly is still used in eight countries in North America, two countries in South America, seven countries in Asia, two countries in Africa, three countries in Oceania (Australia and the Pacific Islands) and 49 countries in Europe

5. Does daylight saving time have an economic impact?

Daylight saving time can indeed have economic impacts. While the intended purpose is to conserve energy, its actual economic effects are multifaceted. On one hand, the extended daylight hours can boost businesses in retail, leisure and tourism sectors, as people tend to engage in more outdoor activities and spending. This can lead to increased revenue and job opportunities in these industries.

On the other hand, daylight saving time can result in economic costs, including the need to adjust technology and software, potential disruptions in international business and financial trading.

Bonus Fact: Do farmers benefit from daylight saving time?

Farmers’ opinions on the benefits of daylight saving time are divided. While the extra daylight in the evening could provide more time for outdoor farm work, it also disrupts the routines of farm animals, like milking schedules and feeding times. This depends on specific farming practices and the extent to which they can adapt to the changing time.


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