Why are we changing the clocks on Easter Sunday?

Daylight Saving Time is set to commence on 31st March at 2am, the same day as Easter Sunday, which has come particularly early this year. We explain the reasoning behind both.

Thanks to digital devices like mobile phones, chances are you won’t miss the Daylight Savings Time change on Sunday, but it’s good not be caught by surprise.

So, prepare to see the clocks move forward 60 minutes from the standard time at 2am on Sunday 31st March, effectively setting it to 3am.

It’s here to stay, for a while at least

The purpose of Daylight Saving Time (DST) during the warmer months is to conserve energy by reducing the need for artificial lighting, to promote leisure activities and economic productivity during the longer evenings, and potentially improve road safety by reducing driving in darkness.

Since 1998, the dates for time changes have been synchronised across the entire European Union, with winter time ending on the last Sunday in October, and summer time begining on the last Sunday in March.

While Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted in favour of abolishing the biannual time change in March 2019, Covid-19 put a stop to discussions and the topic is not expected to be revisited in the near future.

Why is Easter so early this year?

The time change uniquely occurs on Easter Sunday this year, which is falling earlier on the calendar.

Easter, a Christian celebration, always falls on the first Sunday following the Paschal Moon, which is the full moon that occurs on or after the March or spring equinox. While Christmas is fixed on a solar calendar, Easter is dependent on lunar cycles, hence the date might change.

A decade ago, in 2014, Easter fell on 20th April. Six years later, in 2020, it was 12th April. This year, it’s 31stMarch.

But rest assured, Easter dates are planned well in advance. Next year, Easter won’t take place until 20th April.

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