Spanish town delays next week’s time change 

Summertime on hold in Tobarra

Drumming in Tobarra. Credit: Gobierno de Castilla-La Mancha/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

One town will conspicuously stand out next week for not putting its clocks forward in line with the rest of Spain.

The small town of Tobarra in Albacete, Spain, has decided to put long-held tradition before secular convention.

This unique municipality has decided not to adjust its clocks for daylight saving time on March 30, setting a precedent as the only town in Spain to do so.

Preserving Holy Week traditions

This decision, made by the local council, aims to honour a deeply entrenched Holy Week tradition. ‘The time change will not take place until after Easter Sunday (at 2:00 am on Monday, April 1)’, the council explained.

This allows Tobarra to maintain its uninterrupted 104-hour drumming session, a cultural spectacle that begins on Holy Wednesday and concludes on Easter Sunday.

This event was acknowledged in 2016 as an Asset of Cultural Interest and since 2018 as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, underscores the town’s commitment to its historical customs.

Community united by drumbeats

The 104-hour drumming marathon, which commences from 4:00 pm on Wednesday until Sunday 12:00 pm, is not just a display of endurance. The spectacle is a pivotal part of the Holy Week celebrations, intertwining with significant processions that narrate the Passion of Christ.

This drumming vigil, is a testament to the community’s dedication to its faith and heritage. By delaying the switch to daylight saving time, Tobarra ensures that this centennial tradition remains unaltered, marking a rare deviation from national timekeeping norms.

A broader debate on daylight saving

While Tobarra stands out for its unique stance on time change this year, it’s not the first time the town has made such a decision.

The town has previously delayed daylight saving time in 2002, 2005, 2013, and 2016 in order to accommodate its marathon drumming event.

This local decision feeds into a wider debate within the European Union regarding the health impacts of daylight saving time and the potential cessation of the practice.

Until a consensus is reached, Tobarra’s choice serves as a powerful reminder of the strength of local traditions in the face of broader regulatory practices.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.