Clocks go back in Estonia on Sunday

A clock on Mere puiestee in Tallinn.
A clock on Mere puiestee in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The clocks go back one hour in Estonia on Sunday, as daylight saving time ends.

The change happens at 4 a.m. on the Sunday, which becomes 3 a.m. allowing for an extra hour in bed.

Sunday's change may be one of the last ever, following a European Parliament vote earlier in the year to scrap the practice after 2021. This would mean that countries would have the choice of remaining on "permanent summer time" if they made March 2021 the final change, or "permanent winter" if this was left until next October.

However, no final decision has been made on this, and Estonia is waiting to see what happens at a Europe-wide level before making an announcement, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications told ERR's online news in Estonian on Thursday.

In any case daylight saving time will return in 2021, on the final Sunday in March, though there is the whole of winter to get through before that day comes.

Arguments in favor of daylight saving, first used in one particular town in Ontario, Canada in 1908, arose from improved productivity during World War One, when it was first introduced in Europe. The practice supposedly also encourages people to get outdoors more, and for longer, during the summer months, and is argued to be a boost to tourism.

It also saves on energy with less artificial light being used in the evenings, though Estonia's high latitude means this is somewhat of a moot point in the months of May, June and July. Moreover, energy is consumed by computers and other tech regardless of what happens with the clocks.

Arguments against daylight saving include body-clock confusion contributing to accidents and, following the October changeover, increased depression. Additionally, both clock changes can cause people on the Sunday it happens to either miss appointments, travel connections and presumably church, or, less seriously, arrive an hour early for said duties.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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