Time zones

In your settings/base.py file check to make sure that timezones are enabled:

USE_TZ = True

In your requirements/base.txt file:


For more information, https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.6/topics/i18n/timezones/

The FAQs are very useful: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.6/topics/i18n/timezones/#faq

To get the time now in a format which is aware:

from django.utils import timezone

td = timezone.now() - self.created


To create a date/time for testing purposes:

from datetime import datetime
import pytz

d = datetime(2014, 10, 1, 6, 0, 0, tzinfo=pytz.utc)


Only use utc for constructing dates. For more information see http://pytz.sourceforge.net/#example-usage


To display a time in the local timezone, use localtime:

from django.utils import timezone
alarm = timezone.now()
datetime.datetime(2014, 6, 17, 14, 19, 40, 607734, tzinfo=<UTC>)
datetime.datetime(2014, 6, 17, 15, 19, 40, 607734, tzinfo=<DstTzInfo 'Europe/London' BST+1:00:00 DST>)


If a user enters a time into a TimeField, they will enter it in their local timezone. To convert this to a UTC datetime:

import pytz
from django.conf import settings

start_date = self.cleaned_data.get('start_date')
start_time = self.cleaned_data.get('start_time')

start_date_time = datetime.combine(start_date, start_time)
local_tz = pytz.timezone(settings.TIME_ZONE)
start_date_time = local_tz.localize(start_date_time)
start_date_time = start_date_time.astimezone(pytz.utc)

# json post
    'start_date': start_date_time.isoformat(),


If you get the error when running unit tests, make sure you are setting field dates to timezone aware values.