What time does the night start?
Time of day in Germany: when does the night actually start?
Tormenting out of bed in the morning, having lunch with colleagues and exercising in the evening: the information on the times of the day is omnipresent. And yet they can quickly lead to errors. What are the divisions?
If only times of day are mentioned in appointments - without a specific time - this can be interpreted very differently. Travelers often encounter cultural contrasts, especially when on vacation. Misunderstandings are then often inevitable. What time of day are there? And what are they based on? An overview.
Since when has the day been organized?
Before there was a stricter division of the day, people orientated themselves by the position of the sun or the crowing of the cock, which sounds when the sun rises or sets. The structure of a day was initially determined by the monastery. Monks could adapt their prayers and work to the ringing of bells.
The cities adopted this practice and the hour bells were ringing in public as well. The length of the hours was determined by different clocks: water clocks, sundials or even candle clocks.
The invention of the clock
The mechanical wheel clock was invented in the 14th century. From this time onwards, a modern day schedule developed increasingly. From the 16th century, people no longer orientated themselves exclusively to daylight, but were able to carry out their jobs without sunlight through artificial lighting. Grandfather clocks were increasingly popular from the 17th century until almost every household owned a clock.
What times of the day are there in Germany?
For the German-speaking cultural area, times of the day and times were set. These are differentiated into summer and winter time. In summer, the times shift one hour back. The day is divided into six sections: morning, morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night. The following times are not fixed, but serve as an orientation.
Times of day in winter with time
- Morning: 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Morning: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Midday: 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
- Afternoon: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Evening: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Night: 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Times of day in summer with time
- Morning: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Morning: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Midday: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
- Afternoon: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Evening: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Night: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Is the night's sleep based on the times of the night?
In Germany, the night's sleep is regulated by law. There are differences between weekends and workdays. Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. there are statutory rest periods on weekdays, including Saturdays.
After 10 p.m., according to the time of day in summer, the night also begins. From 6 a.m. - and thus the end of the night's sleep - the morning begins in winter. The quiet times regulate which noise level is allowed at which times of the day. A 32-hour rest period must also be observed from 10 p.m. on Saturday.
How do other cultures organize their day?
If only times of the day are given for appointments, this can quickly lead to misunderstandings. Some travelers, especially on vacation, notice that the clocks literally tick differently. A time for a meeting can quickly be misinterpreted by both sides.
The division of the times of the day can also be based on snacks in the respective region. For example, the term morning does not exist in either English-speaking or French-speaking countries. Since there is no so-called "second breakfast" in either language area, the morning counts as the morning.
Meal times start later in Spain
There are also some differences in Spain compared to Germany. The siesta, which denotes the midday rest, is three hours long. The Spanish have lunch between 2pm and 5pm. The shops are also mostly closed during this period. Originally, this break was intended for farmers in the south so that they did not have to expose themselves to the great midday heat while working. Due to the long rest period, further meal times are postponed considerably. Dinner is served at 9 p.m. at the earliest.
So that there are no cultural missteps - be it with business partners or with new friendships - it is better to find out about the specifics of the times of day and meal times in advance. That shows the other person appreciation and respect.
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