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Why do the clocks go forward and when is the longest day of the year?

We can expect longer hours of daylight in the months ahead (Picture: Getty)

Summer is well and truly on its way – but that does mean we’ll lose an hour of sleep when the clocks go forward this weekend?

You’ll already have noticed some warmer weather and longer daylight in the evenings in recent weeks, and those summer evenings with our friends and families are not too far away with lockdown restrictions gradually easing.

At 1am on Sunday, March 28, the clocks will go forward an hour to British Summer Time (BST) – this means 1am will become 2am instead.

It results in us all ‘losing’ an hour – but don’t worry we’ll get it back later in the year.

But why do the clocks change?

Why do the clocks go forward?

Clocks change by one hour twice a year in spring and autumn – or, if you want another way to remember it, you can use the American English mnemonic ‘spring forward, fall back.’

The practice of changing the clocks in the winter months came about to give us more daylight in the mornings.

The government brought in the British Summer Time in World War I to improve the economy by giving farmers an extra hour of sunlight to work in.

However, it was Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s great-great-grandfather William Willett who came up with the idea of British Summer Time back in 1907.

Willett spent much of his life trying to convince people they should get up an hour earlier in the spring to make the most of the brighter mornings – although he died just before it was introduced in 1916.

However, the idea of changing the time system has been around for centuries – it’s believed that even the Romans did it.

When is the longest day of the year in 2021?

A woman in bed reaches for her alarm clock

We will lose an hour of sleep at 1am on Sunday, March 28, 2021 (Picture: Getty)

The longest day of the year in 2021 falls on Monday, June 21.

That day is set to be one to remember in England with June 21 earmarked as the day final lockdown restrictions will be lifted in England.

All legal limits on social contact are set to be removed on the same day nightclubs can reopen.

When do the clocks go back in 2021?

The clocks go back – which means we gain an hour of sleep – at 2am on Sunday, October 31, 2021.

This is when the clocks revert to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


MORE : Summer holidays abroad ‘could risk fourth lockdown in winter’


MORE : Easter 2021: What will the lockdown rules be – can you see family?

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