Python has a module named datetime to work with dates and times.
It provides a variety of classes for representing and manipulating dates and times, as well as for formatting and parsing dates and times in a variety of formats.
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Example 1: Get Current Date and Time
import datetime # get the current date and time now = datetime.datetime.now() print(now)
Here, we have imported the
datetime module using the
import datetime statement.
One of the classes defined in the
datetime module is the
We then used the
now() method to create a
datetime object containing the current local date and time.
Example 2: Get Current Date
import datetime # get current date current_date = datetime.date.today() print(current_date)
In the above example, we have used the
today() method defined in the
date class to get a
date object containing the current local date.
Attributes of datetime Module
We can use the dir() function to get a list containing all attributes of a module.
import datetime print(dir(datetime))
['MAXYEAR', 'MINYEAR', '__builtins__', '__cached__', '__doc__', '__file__', '__loader__', '__name__', '__package__', '__spec__', '_divide_and_round', 'date', 'datetime', 'datetime_CAPI', 'time', 'timedelta', 'timezone', 'tzinfo']
Among all the attributes of datetime module, the most commonly used classes in the datetime module are:
datetime.datetime- represents a single point in time, including a date and a time.
datetime.date- represents a date (year, month, and day) without a time.
datetime.time- represents a time (hour, minute, second, and microsecond) without a date.
datetime.timedelta- represents a duration, which can be used to perform arithmetic with datetime objects.
Python datetime.date Class
In Python, we can instantiate
date objects from the
date class. A date object represents a date (year, month and day).
Example 3: Date object to represent a date
import datetime d = datetime.date(2022, 12, 25) print(d)
date() in the above example is a constructor of the
date class. The constructor takes three arguments:
Import Only date Class
We can only import the
date class from the
datetime module. For example,
from datetime import date d = date(2022, 12, 25) print(d)
from datetime import date only imports the
date class from the
Example 4: Get current date using today()
We can create a
date object containing the current date by using the class method named
today(). For example,
from datetime import date # today() to get current date todays_date = date.today() print("Today's date =", todays_date)
Today's date = 2022-12-27
Example 5: Get date from a timestamp
We can also create
date objects from a timestamp.
A Unix timestamp is the number of seconds between a particular date and January 1, 1970 at UTC. You can convert a timestamp to date using the
from datetime import date timestamp = date.fromtimestamp(1326244364) print("Date =", timestamp)
Date = 2012-01-11
Example 6: Print today's year, month and day
We can get year, month, day, day of the week etc. from the
date object easily. For example,
from datetime import date # date object of today's date today = date.today() print("Current year:", today.year) print("Current month:", today.month) print("Current day:", today.day)
Current year: 2022 Current month: 12 Current day: 27
Python datetime.time Class
A time object instantiated from the
time class represents the local time.
Example 7: Time object to represent time
from datetime import time # time(hour = 0, minute = 0, second = 0) a = time() print(a) # time(hour, minute and second) b = time(11, 34, 56) print(b) # time(hour, minute and second) c = time(hour = 11, minute = 34, second = 56) print(c) # time(hour, minute, second, microsecond) d = time(11, 34, 56, 234566) print(d)
a = 00:00:00 b = 11:34:56 c = 11:34:56 d = 11:34:56.234566
Example 8: Print hour, minute, second and microsecond
Once we create the
time object, we can easily print its attributes such as
minute etc. For example,
from datetime import time a = time(11, 34, 56) print("Hour =", a.hour) print("Minute =", a.minute) print("Second =", a.second) print("Microsecond =", a.microsecond)
Hour = 11 Minute = 34 Second = 56 Microsecond = 0
Here, notice that we haven't passed the microsecond argument. Hence, its default value
0 is printed.
The datetime.datetime Class
datetime module has a class named
datetime that can contain information from both date and time objects.
Example 9: Python datetime object
from datetime import datetime # datetime(year, month, day) a = datetime(2022, 12, 28) print(a) # datetime(year, month, day, hour, minute, second, microsecond) b = datetime(2022, 12, 28, 23, 55, 59, 342380) print(b)
2022-12-28 00:00:00 2022-12-28 23:55:59.342380
The first three arguments year, month and day in the
datetime() constructor are mandatory.
Example 10: Print year, month, hour, minute and timestamp
from datetime import datetime a = datetime(2022, 12, 28, 23, 55, 59, 342380) print("Year =", a.year) print("Month =", a.month) print("Hour =", a.hour) print("Minute =", a.minute) print("Timestamp =", a.timestamp())
year = 202 month = 12 day = 28 hour = 23 minute = 55 timestamp = 1511913359.34238
Python datetime.timedelta Class
timedelta object represents the difference between two dates or times. For example,
from datetime import datetime, date # using date() t1 = date(year = 2018, month = 7, day = 12) t2 = date(year = 2017, month = 12, day = 23) t3 = t1 - t2 print("t3 =", t3) # using datetime() t4 = datetime(year = 2018, month = 7, day = 12, hour = 7, minute = 9, second = 33) t5 = datetime(year = 2019, month = 6, day = 10, hour = 5, minute = 55, second = 13) t6 = t4 - t5 print("t6 =", t6) print("Type of t3 =", type(t3)) print("Type of t6 =", type(t6))
t3 = 201 days, 0:00:00 t6 = -333 days, 1:14:20 Type of t3 = <class 'datetime.timedelta'> Type of t6 = <class 'datetime.timedelta'>
Notice, both t3 and t6 are of
<class 'datetime.timedelta'> type.
Example 12: Difference between two timedelta objects
from datetime import timedelta t1 = timedelta(weeks = 2, days = 5, hours = 1, seconds = 33) t2 = timedelta(days = 4, hours = 11, minutes = 4, seconds = 54) t3 = t1 - t2 print("t3 =", t3)
t3 = 14 days, 13:55:39
Here, we have created two
timedelta objects t1 and t2, and their difference is printed on the screen.
Example 14: Time duration in seconds
We can get the total number of seconds in a timedelta object using the
from datetime import timedelta t = timedelta(days = 5, hours = 1, seconds = 33, microseconds = 233423) print("Total seconds =", t.total_seconds())
Total seconds = 435633.233423
Python format datetime
The way date and time is represented may be different in different places, organizations etc. It's more common to use
mm/dd/yyyy in the US, whereas
dd/mm/yyyy is more common in the UK.
strptime() methods to handle this.
Python strftime() Method
strftime() method is defined under classes
time. The method creates a formatted string from a given
Let's see an example.
from datetime import datetime # current date and time now = datetime.now() t = now.strftime("%H:%M:%S") print("Time:", t) s1 = now.strftime("%m/%d/%Y, %H:%M:%S") # mm/dd/YY H:M:S format print("s1:", s1) s2 = now.strftime("%d/%m/%Y, %H:%M:%S") # dd/mm/YY H:M:S format print("s2:", s2)
time: 04:34:52 s1: 12/26/2018, 04:34:52 s2: 26/12/2018, 04:34:52
%H etc. are format codes. The
strftime() method takes one or more format codes and returns a formatted string based on it.
In the above example, t, s1 and s2 are strings.
%Y- year [0001,..., 2018, 2019,..., 9999]
%m- month [01, 02, ..., 11, 12]
%d- day [01, 02, ..., 30, 31]
%H- hour [00, 01, ..., 22, 23
%M- minute [00, 01, ..., 58, 59]
%S- second [00, 01, ..., 58, 59]
To learn more about
strftime() and format codes, visit: Python strftime().
Python strptime() Method
strptime() method creates a
datetime object from a given string (representing date and time). For example,
from datetime import datetime date_string = "25 December, 2022" print("date_string =", date_string) # use strptime() to create date object date_object = datetime.strptime(date_string, "%d %B, %Y") print("date_object =", date_object)
date_string = 25 december, 2022 date_object = 2018-06-21 00:00:00
strptime() method takes two arguments:
- a string representing date and time
- format code equivalent to the first argument
By the way,
%Y format codes are used for day, month(full name) and year respectively.
Visit Python strptime() to learn more.
Handling timezone in Python
Suppose, we are working on a project and need to display date and time based on their timezone.
Rather than trying to handle timezone yourself, we suggest to use a third-party pytZ module.
from datetime import datetime import pytz local = datetime.now() print("Local:", local.strftime("%m/%d/%Y, %H:%M:%S")) tz_NY = pytz.timezone('America/New_York') datetime_NY = datetime.now(tz_NY) print("NY:", datetime_NY.strftime("%m/%d/%Y, %H:%M:%S")) tz_London = pytz.timezone('Europe/London') datetime_London = datetime.now(tz_London) print("London:", datetime_London.strftime("%m/%d/%Y, %H:%M:%S"))
Local: 12/27/2022, 09:40:19 NY: 12/27/2022, 04:40:19 London: 12/27/2022, 09:40:19
Here, datetime_NY and datetime_London are datetime objects containing the current date and time of their respective timezone.