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DST Chaos in Lebanon—Government Backtracks

Lebanon will start Daylight Saving Time (DST) on March 30, after all. The country has been operating with two local times since March 26.

Beirut, Lebanon: Nejmeh square is the heart of the Beirut City Center. The Hamidiyi Clock tower and the buildings around it were reconstructed, because they were heavily destroyed during the Civil War.

Time trouble in Lebanon: it is unclear what time the clock tower shows in Nejmeh Square in downtown Beirut, Lebanon.


Since March 26, Lebanon has been operating with two local times one hour apart—some people following summer time and others standard time.

The reason: a last-minute decision by the Lebanese government last Thursday to postpone the onset of DST to April 21. This has propelled the Mediterranian country into time zone confusion and conflict.

Today, the Lebanese government made a U-turn on the matter, stating that DST will be effective from 00:00 (midnight) Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Lebanon’s New DST Schedule

Clocks will be set forward 1 hour:

  • Thursday, March 30 at 00:00 (midnight),
    to 01:00 (1 am) local time on Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Clocks will be set back 1 hour:

  • Sunday, October 29 at 00:00 (midnight),
    to 23:00 (11 pm) local time on Saturday, October 28, 2023.

“Muslim and Christian Time”

The two time zones have been dubbed “Christian Time” and “Muslim Time.” Although it was never given as the reason, it is widely believed that the hasty decision to delay DST was spurred on by the start of Ramadan on March 23. Moving the start date of DST allowed Muslims to break their fast one hour earlier during their holy month.

However, on Saturday, the largest Christian church in Lebanon announced that they would follow the original DST schedule, with other Christian institutions saying they would follow suit.

Some Sprang Forward

The result: no one really knew what time it was. While some schools, businesses, and institutions followed the new DST schedule by not springing forward for DST, others set their clocks forward with Europe, resulting in a one-hour time difference confusion.

Now the Lebanese government has backtracked, and by Thursday, one will be able to say—for sure—what time it is in Lebanon.