31 October 2010

Day light saving time?

Dear TCG

Does China have to change its clocks back and forth as we do in England?


Dear Maxine

China abandoned this silly practice decades ago. We have recently put the clocks back in the UK, it's a pain as I used to end up at work early or late when I forgot about it. Still when I did go to work it mattered very little in winter anyway. As I used to go to work in the dark, work in an internal windowless office all day and would not go out because of a power trip crazy security guard. I would then leave work 5.30pm in the dark too. I hate that. It is one of those things which is hard to argue rationally about. Namely as people who think it is a good thing will use emotive arguments like.

"But think of the children!"

Meh hate that.

Anyway I digress

In Hong Kong and Macau they abandoned this practice in 1980. In China they played around with it for a few years then thought bugger this and decided to keep it as China standard time even though it is a massive country and thus spans many time zones. Heh while riding a motorbike in Siberia I would often pass time zones and not realise it.... but Siberia was funny because I was so far north at times the sun stayed just above the Horizon and I had a habit of riding 'till the sun went down' those were some long riding days I can tell you. I even managed to get stuck in no mans land between Russia and Mongolia because of this...

But simply no China does not even though almost every country in the region does move the clocks back and forth.


  1. When daylight savings time was invented, the idea was to shift working time into the hours that actually had sunlight, to conserve candle wax. Cities loved it. Farms, not so much, because the cow expects to be milked at the same hour every day, and doesn't care if you call this hour 6am or 5am, and the farmer not moving his clock threw him or her off the rest of the social schedule. Farmers in areas that practiced daylight savings would either need to describe their farm activities as an hour behind official time, or be an hour late to their city contacts.
    I think China's one continuous time zone would be unenforceable in a less authoritarian country. Western China has dawn at 2am, and dusk at 2pm. The clock is clearly out of sync with the way people live, but that's what the official order is, so that's the way it is.
    Time is so hard to understand.

  2. Many people in western China follow the unofficial Xinjiang Time Zone, 2 hours behind Beijing. The government doesn't seem to care though.