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Python Datetime

Python Dates

A date in Python is not a data type of its own, but we can import a module named datetime to work with dates as date objects.


Import the datetime module and display the current date:

import datetime

x = datetime.datetime.now()
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Date Output

When we execute the code from the example above the result will be:

The date contains year, month, day, hour, minute, second, and microsecond.

The datetime module has many methods to return information about the date object.

Here are a few examples, you will learn more about them later in this chapter:


Return the year and name of weekday:

import datetime

x = datetime.datetime.now()

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Creating Date Objects

To create a date, we can use the datetime() class (constructor) of the datetime module.

The datetime() class requires three parameters to create a date: year, month, day.


Create a date object:

import datetime

x = datetime.datetime(2020, 5, 17)

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The datetime() class also takes parameters for time and timezone (hour, minute, second, microsecond, tzone), but they are optional, and has a default value of 0, (None for timezone).

The strftime() Method

The datetime object has a method for formatting date objects into readable strings.

The method is called strftime(), and takes one parameter, format, to specify the format of the returned string:


Display the name of the month:

import datetime

x = datetime.datetime(2018, 6, 1)

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A reference of all the legal format codes:

Directive Description Example Try it
%a Weekday, short version Wed Try it »
%A Weekday, full version Wednesday Try it »
%w Weekday as a number 0-6, 0 is Sunday 3 Try it »
%d Day of month 01-31 31 Try it »
%b Month name, short version Dec Try it »
%B Month name, full version December Try it »
%m Month as a number 01-12 12 Try it »
%y Year, short version, without century 18 Try it »
%Y Year, full version 2018 Try it »
%H Hour 00-23 17 Try it »
%I Hour 00-12 05 Try it »
%p AM/PM PM Try it »
%M Minute 00-59 41 Try it »
%S Second 00-59 08 Try it »
%f Microsecond 000000-999999 548513 Try it »
%z UTC offset +0100
%Z Timezone CST
%j Day number of year 001-366 365 Try it »
%U Week number of year, Sunday as the first day of week, 00-53 52 Try it »
%W Week number of year, Monday as the first day of week, 00-53 52 Try it »
%c Local version of date and time Mon Dec 31 17:41:00 2018 Try it »
%C Century 20 Try it »
%x Local version of date 12/31/18 Try it »
%X Local version of time 17:41:00 Try it »
%% A % character % Try it »
%G ISO 8601 year 2018 Try it »
%u ISO 8601 weekday (1-7) 1 Try it »
%V ISO 8601 weeknumber (01-53) 01 Try it »