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Spring Forward or Fall Back?

The term “spring forward – fall back” is meant to trigger your memory to set your clocks forward one hour in the spring at the start of DST, and one hour back in the fall when DST ends.

Autumn in the city park with clock.
One hour ahead or back in the fall?
Many forget which way to set their clocks one hour at the start and end of DST.

DST 2015  |   DST 2016

“Spring ahead” and “Spring up”

A different way to remember which direction to set your clock for Daylight Saving Time is that in the spring, you bring out (or forward) the garden furniture (clocks are set 1 hour ahead), and in the fall you put them back (clocks are set 1 hour back).

The expressions “spring ahead” and “spring up” are also used to describe the action of setting clocks one hour ahead for the start of DST in the spring. These terms are mainly used in the USA and Canada.

“March forward”

“March forward” is another term used to remind people about the DST start dates in the Northern hempisphere, like the USA, Canada and Europe, where it starts in March.

“Gain 1 hour - lose 1 hour”

Other phrases associated with the DST start date include “push the clocks forward”, “turn the clocks ahead”, and “shift the clocks forward”. There is also the expression, “lose an hour here, gain an hour there”, which describes the start and end of DST.

“Daylight Time”

“Daylight Time”, refers to the DST schedule itself. Other variations are “Daylight Savings” or “Daylight Saving”.

Records have shown that the phrase “spring forward, fall back” has been in use at least as far back as early 20th century. For example, the “Heppner Gazette-Times” (October 28, 1928) printed a notice, stating “Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, October 31. Remember to set your clocks back one hour, ‘Spring forward – Fall Back!’”.

Topics: Daylight Saving Time, Sun, November, October, March

In this Article


DST Library

  1. History of DST
  2. History of DST in Europe
  3. Your Health and DST
  4. Controversy of DST
  5. 1 Hour Back or Forward?
  6. Summer or Winter Time?
  7. Savings or Saving?
  8. DST in the US Changed in 2005

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time worldwide

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