I was having issues with a method that was repeatedly printing out wrong dates, when I executed this in anonymous apex

Date foo = date.newinstance(2016, 27, 7);//year, month, day

This is what was output:

19:02:05:002 USER_DEBUG [2]|DEBUG|2018-03-07 00:00:00

Has anyone else encountered this or know of a work around?

  • 1
    What were you expecting it to do?
    – sfdcfox
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:10
  • 2
    there is no month 27 so it adds the remaining months to it i believe
    – Eric
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:10
  • 1
    No problem. Not sure about the adding of months but I think thats what it is doing. 27-4 = 23, add 23 months get 3-2018
    – Eric
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:12
  • 2
    @Eric JavaScript does the same thing. I think it's to make it easier to find arbitrary dates (like you could add 60 months to find the end date).
    – sfdcfox
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:16
  • 1
    @Eric Yeah, the year sets the date to Jan 1, XXXX (whatever), then the second param calls addMonths, and the third param calls addDays. I think. It's not documented, but it's not strictly a bug.
    – sfdcfox
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:18

1 Answer 1


Date.newInstance actually seems to behave as follows:

public class Date {
    public static Date newInstance(Integer year, Integer month, Integer day) {
        Date d = new Date(1, 1, 1);
        return d;

Curiously, year cannot be negative, so it has the net effect of wrapping upwards:

Date.newInstance(-3, 1, 1);
// 0004-01-01

The system represents the date as a number of milliseconds, so if you exceed the maximum value, your Date will debug oddly:

Date.newInstance(1000000000, 1, 1);
// 169104628-12-10 19:08:16

This allows you to do things like...

Last Day of Previous Year

Date.newInstance(year, 1, 0);

Last Day of Previous Month

Date.newInstance(year, month, 0);

Determine End Date of 60-Month Contract:

Date.newInstance(startYear, startMonth+60, 0);
  • lol - Jynx - much better than mine
    – Eric
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:33

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