How can you convert between ISO year-week-day and an elisp date that can be sent to, e.g., format-time-string? I do not want to go via a string representation.

I found the following old question on stackoverflow: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/20055504/iso-emacs-elisp-to-determines-dates-corresponding-to-first-last-days-of-a-week/, but haven't been able to find a published answer.

  • What is normal date? 31/03/1978, 31 Марта 1978 года, 03/31/1978, 31 de marzo de 1978?
    – Maxim Kim
    Commented Aug 7, 2018 at 7:06
  • I clarified what I mean with a "normal date". Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 6:35

2 Answers 2


Base on your own answer, here is another way to do it.

(require 'cal-iso)

(defun iso-week-to-time (year week day)
  (pcase-let ((`(,m ,d ,y)
                (calendar-iso-to-absolute (list week day year)))))
    (encode-time 0 0 0 d m y)))

(format-time-string "%F" (iso-week-to-time 2018 32 2))
;; => "2018-08-07"

Below is my own solution to the question.

calendar-iso-to-absolute and calendar-gregorian-from absolute converts the list (year week weekday) to the list (month day year) which is transformed to (0 0 0 day month year) and processed by encode-time. The result is an elisp time value that can be processed by format-time.


(format-time-string "%F" (iso-week-to-time 2018 32 1)) % Monday week 32 in 2018

There should be simpler solutions as this is a kludge, especially the permutation of the list.

(defun iso-week-to-time(year week day)
  "Convert ISO year, week, day to elisp time value."
  (apply #'encode-time
         (append '(0 0 0)
                  '(1 0 2)
                  (calendar-gregorian-from-absolute (calendar-iso-to-absolute
                                                     (list week day year)))))))

(defun iso-beginning-of-week(year week)
  "Convert ISO year, week to elisp time for first day (Monday) of week."
  (iso-week-to-time year week 1))

(defun iso-end-of-week(year week)
  "Convert ISO year, week to elisp time for last day (Sunday) of week."
  (iso-week-to-time year week 7))

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