How do I convert string to Date in GMT timezone?

The following code snippet convert a string representation of a date into a java.util.Date object and the timezone is set to GMT. To parse the string so that the result is in GMT you must set the TimeZone of the DateFormat object into GMT.

package org.kodejava.example.text;

import java.text.DateFormat;
import java.text.ParseException;
import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;
import java.util.TimeZone;

public class WithTimezoneStringToDate {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Create a DateFormat and set the timezone to GMT.
        DateFormat df = new SimpleDateFormat("E, dd MMM yyyy HH:mm:ss z");
        df.setTimeZone(TimeZone.getTimeZone("GMT"));

        try {
            // Convert string into Date
            Date today = df.parse("Mon, 16 Apr 2018 00:00:00 GMT+08:00");
            System.out.println("Today = " + df.format(today));
        } catch (ParseException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

The code snippet above print the following output:

Today = Sun, 15 Apr 2018 16:00:00 GMT

How do I get pattern string of a SimpleDateFormat?

To format a java.util.Date object we use the SimpleDateFormat class. To get back the string pattern that were used to format the date we can use the toPattern() method of this class.

package org.kodejava.example.text;

import java.text.SimpleDateFormat;
import java.util.Date;

public class SimpleDateFormatToPattern {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        SimpleDateFormat format = new SimpleDateFormat("EEEE, dd/MM/yyyy");

        // Gets a pattern string describing this date format used by the
        // SimpleDateFormat object.
        String pattern = format.toPattern();

        System.out.println("Pattern = " + pattern);
        System.out.println("Date    = " + format.format(new Date()));
    }
}

The result of the program will be as follow:

Pattern = EEEE, dd/MM/yyyy
Date    = Monday, 16/04/2018