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JavaScript Create a new Date object


Example

To create a new Date object use the Date() constructor:

  • with no arguments

    Date() creates a Date instance containing the current time (up to milliseconds) and date.

  • with one integer argument

    Date(m) creates a Date instance containing the time and date corresponding to the Epoch time (1 January, 1970 UTC) plus m milliseconds. Example: new Date(749019369738) gives the date Sun, 26 Sep 1993 04:56:09 GMT.

  • with a string argument

    Date(dateString) returns the Date object that results after parsing dateString with Date.parse.

  • with two or more integer arguments

    Date(i1, i2, i3, i4, i5, i6) reads the arguments as year, month, day, hours, minutes, seconds, milliseconds and instantiates the corresponding Dateobject. Note that the month is 0-indexed in JavaScript, so 0 means January and 11 means December. Example: new Date(2017, 5, 1) gives June 1st, 2017.


Exploring dates

Note that these examples were generated on a browser in the Central Time Zone of the US, during Daylight Time, as evidenced by the code. Where comparison with UTC was instructive, Date.prototype.toISOString() was used to show the date and time in UTC (the Z in the formatted string denotes UTC).

// Creates a Date object with the current date and time from the 
// user's browser
var now = new Date();
now.toString() === 'Mon Apr 11 2016 16:10:41 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time)' 
// true
// well, at the time of this writing, anyway

// Creates a Date object at the Unix Epoch (i.e., '1970-01-01T00:00:00.000Z')
var epoch = new Date(0);
epoch.toISOString() === '1970-01-01T00:00:00.000Z' // true

// Creates a Date object with the date and time 2,012 milliseconds 
// after the Unix Epoch (i.e., '1970-01-01T00:00:02.012Z').
var ms = new Date(2012); 
date2012.toISOString() === '1970-01-01T00:00:02.012Z' // true

// Creates a Date object with the first day of February of the year 2012 
// in the local timezone.
var one = new Date(2012, 1);
one.toString() === 'Wed Feb 01 2012 00:00:00 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)' 
// true

// Creates a Date object with the first day of the year 2012 in the local 
// timezone.
// (Months are zero-based) 
var zero = new Date(2012, 0);
zero.toString() === 'Sun Jan 01 2012 00:00:00 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)' 
// true

// Creates a Date object with the first day of the year 2012, in UTC.
var utc = new Date(Date.UTC(2012, 0));
utc.toString() === 'Sat Dec 31 2011 18:00:00 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)'
// true
utc.toISOString() === '2012-01-01T00:00:00.000Z'
// true

// Parses a string into a Date object (ISO 8601 format added in ECMAScript 5.1)
// Implementations should assumed UTC because of ISO 8601 format and Z designation
var iso = new Date('2012-01-01T00:00:00.000Z');
iso.toISOString() === '2012-01-01T00:00:00.000Z' // true

// Parses a string into a Date object (RFC in JavaScript 1.0)
var local = new Date('Sun, 01 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0600');
local.toString() === 'Sun Jan 01 2012 00:00:00 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)'
// true

// Parses a string in no particular format, most of the time. Note that parsing
// logic in these cases is very implementation-dependent, and therefore can vary
// across browsers and versions.
var anything = new Date('11/12/2012'); 
anything.toString() === 'Mon Nov 12 2012 00:00:00 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)'
// true, in Chrome 49 64-bit on Windows 10 in the en-US locale. Other versions in 
// other locales may get a different result.

// Rolls values outside of a specified range to the next value.
var rollover = new Date(2012, 12, 32, 25, 62, 62, 1023);
rollover.toString() === 'Sat Feb 02 2013 02:03:03 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)'
// true; note that the month rolled over to Feb; first the month rolled over to 
// Jan based on the month 12 (11 being December), then again because of the day 32
// (January having 31 days).

// Special dates for years in the range 0-99
var special1 = new Date(12, 0);
special1.toString() === 'Mon Jan 01 1912 00:00:00 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)`
// true

// If you actually wanted to set the year to the year 12 CE, you'd need to use the
// setFullYear() method:
special1.setFullYear(12);
special1.toString() === 'Sun Jan 01   12 00:00:00 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)`
// true