Meetup Event time zone factoring in Daylight Saving (Summer) Time (DST)

I just created a post and event for the Madison Wisconsin meetup on April 9, 2022. The meetup will be held from 12-4 pm (12.00-16.00). I entered 12-4 pm on the Event but when it appeared on the Forum, it said 1-5 pm (13.00-17.00).
DST goes into effect March 13, 2022, so I tried entering an event with today’s date and it did not act the same way. I think the Event calendar is taking DST into account.
Do I just need to enter the “wrong” time in order for the time to appear as the correct meeting time?

Timezones can indeed be confusing — if you enter it the other way (ie, the “wrong” time now), you probably run the risk that when DST changes kick in, it will be wrong then. And how it is being displayed to you now is probably not even the same way it is displayed to viewers in other timezones.

I’m not even sure this is a bug — might just be from the inherent confusion that comes with timezones (and DST on top of it). We are not very happy with the current event implementation provided by Discourse — in part because of these issues — and hope to have better solution inis. the future, but for the moment there’s no simple fix/replacement for this.

A couple of ideas to help with this:

  • maybe mark the event as “All day” so that you don’t have to enter the exact time on the event setup, but then on the post text, explicitly say the time window that it will take place (if you don’t yet).
  • or, do set the time (the right or the “wrong”), but then make it extra clear on text of the meetup post about the intended time instead of relying only on the event setup functionality.

I would go with the first option as it runs less risk of confusion. The time on the event settings is not used anywhere other than trying to make the information more conveniently displayed. But as that is not the case here, skipping the time altogether (by using the “All day” option) might be simpler.

Thank you, Paulo, for your very thorough and detailed response. Your analysis that this is probably due to “the inherent confusion that comes with timezones (and DST on top of it)” sums up the situation quite nicely.

I will do as you suggest and change the event to an all-day event and emphasize the meeting time in other parts of the announcement. I was just bound and determined to put a time zone in there because the instructions about creating the event said to be sure to choose the correct time zone. Well, maybe not all the time.

Thanks again!


In case you want to know all of the ways time, timezones and calendaring can be challenging, these posts are good reads:

By the way, there were five changes to the time zone database in 2021 alone, for reasons like Fiji suspends DST for the 2021/2022 season.

Various fun facts:

  • Cook Islands: In 1899 they switched from east to west of GMT,
    celebrating Christmas for two days.
  • My personal favorite time zone is Nepal Standard Time, which is UTC + 5 hours, 45 minutes (!), closely followed by Time in Australia.

There are currently only two states in the US that don’t observe Daylight Saving Time: Arizona and Hawaii. Indiana used to be part of that club, too, and it was always kind of amusing to watch it move back and forth between Eastern and Central Time. I remember reading a case study about energy usage that used Indiana as an example of how DST actually caused an increase in energy usage because they were able to compare Indiana with neighboring states in different time zones. Fun stuff! Honestly, DST is sort of silly. On the other hand, at this latitude, the sun would be coming up at 3 am in the summer if we didn’t go on DST…

I particularly like Tom Scott’s video about timezones: