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Ryan Harrison My blog, portfolio and technology related ramblings

Java - Converting Between Timezones

In Java it’s not too easy to convert Date objects between timezones as they always like to store the time in UTC (even though they will happily print BST when converted to a String form). Normal timezone conversion in Java is done through the Calendar class which is, as all Java developers know, really heavy and a nightmare to use. Even using a Calendar though, getting a Date object out if it in a different timezone doesn’t seem to happen at all. But it can be useful to have a Date object represent a time in a different timezone, so here is a little helper method that gets around it. Included is also another handy helper method that creates a Date object at a certain time (something that you often want to do but don’t want to see or use a Calendar directly):

import java.util.Calendar;  
import java.util.Date;  
import java.util.TimeZone;

public class TimeZoneConversions {  
	public static void main(String[] args) {  
		Date date = dateOf(14, 30, 0, 20, 8, 2014);  
		TimeZone local = TimeZone.getTimeZone("Europe/London");  
		TimeZone dest = TimeZone.getTimeZone("America/New_York");

		System.out.println(translateTime(date, local, dest));

	public static Date dateOf(int hour, int minute, int second,  
		int dayOfMonth, int month, int year) {  
		Date date = new Date();  
		Calendar c = Calendar.getInstance();  

		c.set(Calendar.YEAR, year);  
		c.set(Calendar.MONTH, month - 1);  
		c.set(Calendar.DAY_OF_MONTH, dayOfMonth);  
		c.set(Calendar.HOUR_OF_DAY, hour);  
		c.set(Calendar.MINUTE, minute);  
		c.set(Calendar.SECOND, second);  
		c.set(Calendar.MILLISECOND, 0);  
		return c.getTime();  

	public static Date translateTime(Date date, TimeZone src, TimeZone dest) {  
		long time = date.getTime();  
		int offset = (dest.getOffset(time) - src.getOffset(time));  
		return new Date(time - offset);