Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Confusing New Year time change in Bangladesh

By Mark Dummett
BBC News, Dhaka

Bangladeshi man performs fire trick
Bangladeshi people will have more time to celebrate new year

In a move bound to confuse New Year's Eve celebrations in Bangladesh, clocks are to go back by one hour, at exactly one minute to midnight.

The government has decided that daylight saving will end on Thursday night and so clocks will revert to Bangladesh Standard Time.

That is six hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The clocks were put forward by one hour in June for the first time, in an attempt to save electricity.

The idea of daylight saving - as practised by dozens of countries around the world - is to move the clocks forward during the summer.

That way businesses can stay open when the evenings are lighter.

Clocks are then moved back for the winter when the days shorten.

But in Bangladesh, the government decided to change the clocks in the middle of the summer and now has chosen to move them back half way through the winter.

If that is not confusing enough, it has decreed that the clocks will change on New Year's Eve at one minute to midnight, just as millions of party goers prepare to wish each other a happy new year.

The time will go back by one hour, so at least the celebrations will last an hour longer than normal.

The government says that the time change has helped cut electricity consumption, but many Bangladeshis have remained baffled throughout and refused to change their watches.

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