Git: parent commit is younger than descendant?

I was browsing repo and came across a strange date-thing, which basically says that parent commit is a year younger than its child.

How is this possible?

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    commit 4b8db3b368f5601717e3ffee0051628ba33172d3 3c0eee3fe6a3a1c745379547c7e7c904aa64f6d5
    Author: Kevin Hilman <>
    Date:   Fri Aug 20 11:19:52 2010 -0700
        OMAP: bus-level PM: enable use of runtime PM API for suspend/resume
        Cc: Rajendra Nayak <>
        Signed-off-by: Kevin Hilman <>
    commit 3c0eee3fe6a3a1c745379547c7e7c904aa64f6d5 65f42886e24be2197b1263f138eabf40c6774d00
    Author: Linus Torvalds <>
    Date:   Tue Jan 4 16:50:19 2011 -0800
        Linux 2.6.37

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  • 2 Solutions collect form web for “Git: parent commit is younger than descendant?”

    As mentioned in the comments:

    • you put any timestamp you want on a commit: “git commit – setting timestamps into the future”
    • you can amend the timestamp of a commit: “How can one change the timestamp of an old commit in Git?”
    • You are dealing with two dates: GIT_AUTHOR_DATE and GIT_COMMITER_DATE: See working with date in Git.

    What you see could be the result of a:

    • rebase, since git rebase does actually not change authors’ timestamps by default: see “git rebase without changing commit timestamps”.
    • cherry-picking (as commented by Michael Anderson) since it also preserves GIT_AUTHOR_DATE

    The accepted answer is way more technically insightful, but I’ll just add how this actually happened to me. I was debugging an issue that was affected by the local computer date, and was actively changing my system clock to track down the bug. After fixing it I committed everything to git unaware that my system clock was still set 2 months in the future, thereby screwing up my git history since I only noticed a few days later when commits showed up out of order in Github (d’oh!). This is supposedly fixable, though I haven’t tried it yet.

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