At my organization, people have been entering unknown dates as "11/11/1111". When I run a query with the date field, the value shows up as "11/04/1111". However, if I format it as to_char(datefield,'mm/dd/yyyy'), it correctly shows up as "11/11/1111". Can anyone explain why this is? I assume it has something to do with Julian vs Gregorian dates, but I can't find any information about it.

  • FWIW, in the Oracle Developer NLS settings, the date format is "MM/DD/YYYY".
    – Bernie L
    Oct 4, 2021 at 15:03
  • Also making me suspect this is client-side, if I add to the query CASE WHEN datefield <> to_char(datefield,'mm/dd/yyyy') THEN 1 END, it returns null, so the server sees them as equal.
    – Bernie L
    Oct 4, 2021 at 15:05
  • I can simplify this issue. If I run SELECT to_date('11/11/1111','mm/dd/yyyy') FROM DUAL, it returns a value of "11/04/1111".
    – Bernie L
    Oct 4, 2021 at 19:32
  • I just tried SELECT to_date('11/11/1111','mm/dd/yyyy') FROM DUAL at SQL Fiddle, and THERE it returns "1111-11-18T00:00:00Z" -- 7 days later, instead of 7 days earlier.
    – Bernie L
    Oct 7, 2021 at 1:56
  • I can confirm that the issue is related to the Julian vs. Gregorian calendar. In the Gregorian calendar, 10/4/1582 was followed by 10/15/1582. In Oracle, to_date(10/15/1582) returns 10/15/1582, to_date(10/14/1582) to 10/05/1582 ALSO return 10/15/1582 (because, sure, those dates don't exist). Then, to_date(10/04/1582) returns 9/24/1582. Dates prior to that are offset by 10; the number changes as leap day discrepancies arise. So the date inputted is Gregorian and the date displayed is Julian. I still don't know why it's displaying a Julian date given the NLS settings.
    – Bernie L
    Oct 27, 2021 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


Interestingly, I don't see this in SQL Server (2019).

    , cast([mydata] as varchar(20))
    , dateadd(dd, 1, [mydata])
from (
    select cast('11/11/1111' as date) as [mydata]
) as L1


  • The question relates to Oracle not SQL Server
    – armitage
    Oct 6, 2021 at 18:28

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