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Monday 27-Mar-2017
是誰發明了夏令時間?

2017年3月26日,所有香港市民彷如進入了平行時空,全日聽著「事不關己」的新聞報導。不過對英國人來說,這天亦開始進入另一個時空,因為他們一覺醒來將會少了一小時,換言之一天只剩23小時。



別誤會,英國政府沒什麼超能力可以控制時間。只是由這天起,英國會開始實行夏令時間,整個國家也會快一小時,直到今年10月29日才會回復原本時間。如果你身在英國,卻不知道每年有這兩個重要日子,恐怕會鬧出不少笑話。​



為什麼這麼麻煩要換時間?先由格林威治時間(Greenwich Mean Time)說起。現時我們全世界每個時區,都是以英國格林威治天文台的時間作標準。如果你有去過倫敦Greenwich Park,應該會看到那條標準時間的零度子午線。所以GMT+0就是英國時間,而香港就是GMT+8,即比英國快8小時。全世界有24個時區。原則上,與英國相差幾多個時區,也就相差幾多小時。


(visitlondon.com)


(Telegraph)



每年三月最後一個星期日開始,英國便會比標準時間快一小時,變成GMT+1,直到十月最後一個星期日為止。這個特別時間叫BST(British Summer Time)。



可能你會問為何要這麼複雜,唯恐天下不亂?一切都由一位叫William Willett,即Coldplay主音Chris Martin的great-great-grandfather提出。1907年William曾向政府提出將時間加快一小時,讓國民可提早一小時起床,享受多一小時日光之餘亦節省用煤。當時英國國會拒絕了他的建議,但後來二戰期間爲了節省用煤,英國在1916年決定每年實行夏令時間,又名Daylight Saving Time (DST),一直沿用至今。


(CNN.com)


除了英國之外,大部分歐洲國家都實行夏令時間。尤其歐洲夏天比較早天光,冬天又很快天黑,以前冬天在英國下課已經像深夜一樣。夏令時間某程度可以提升quality of life,亦能節省資源。



當初William Willett提出Daylight Saving Time,其實只因為他太喜歡高爾夫球,恨不得日照能長一點。沒有William Willett的忽發奇想,也不會有現在的夏令時間。有時勇敢將自己的idea講出來,時機成熟時或許真的會改變世界運轉。



圖片: Dominique Kane

文章作者Mabel Chan為英識教育Britannia StudyLink首席顧問。

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Samuel Chan, the winner of Alumni Awards 2017, is the founder of Britannia. He had studied in the UK since the age of 9 for 15 years and achieved his master degree in International Political Economy at University of Warwick. Now he shares his experiences and professional advice in education columns in Hong Kong’s major newspapers.

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