Python Datetime

In this article, you will learn to manipulate date and time in Python with the help of examples.
Python has a module named datetime to work with dates and times. Let’s create a few simple programs related to date and time before we dig deeper.

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.

Python Datetime


Import the datetime module and display the current date:

import datetime

x =

2019-08-01 03:22:55.008949


Date Output

When we execute the code from the example above the result will be:
2019-08-01 03:03:12.870724

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 =




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, 8, 01)



2020-08-01 00:00:00

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(2017, 10, 2)




A reference of all the legal format codes:

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