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How the datetime() class works in Python

Mahrukh Zubair

Datetime module in Python

Date and Time in Python are not a datatypes on their own, but we can import a datetime module. The datetime module in Python helps in providing six different classes for making use of dates and times in different formats in many different applications. These classes are date, time, datetime, timedelta, tzinfo, timezone.

In this shot, we’ll learn about the datetime class from the datetime module.

The datetime class

The datetime class provides information on the date and the time. It assumes the current Gregorian calendar to be extended in both directions and also assumes that there are exactly 3600 * 24 = 86400 seconds in a day.

Syntax

datetime(year, month, day, hour=0, minute=0, second=0, microsecond=0, tzinfo=None, *, fold=0) 

Parameters

The function arguments year, month, and day, are necessary. The tzinfo parameter can be set to None. All the remaining values must be an integer in ranges defined below:

Attribute

Range

year

MINYEAR < and <= MAXYEAR

month

1 <= and <= 12

day

1 <= and <= number of days in the given month and year

hour

0 <= and < 24

minute

0 <= and < 60

second

0 <= and < 60

microsecond

0 <= and < 1000000

fold

[0, 1]

Return value

It returns the date type object.

If we pass any argument other than an integer, we’ll get a TypeError exception. If the given arguments exceed the upper boundary, we’ll get the ValueError exception.

Example

from datetime import datetime

date = datetime(10_000, 1, 1)
print(f'The event started on {date:%B, %d %Y}')
Example of the ValueError exception.

Explanation

  • Line 1: We import the library, datetime.
  • Line 3: We call the datetime method with year, month, and day as arguments. It returns the value stored in the result variable.
  • Line 4: We print the date value.

The value must be between maximum and minimum value.

from datetime import datetime
print(datetime.min, datetime.max) 
The min and max range of datetime

The value provided in the teaser is bigger than the maximum value for datetime. Hence, the ValueError exception.

The now() method

In the code given below, we use the now() method and provide the current local date and time.

Example

from datetime import datetime

datetime = datetime.now()

print("Year: ", datetime.year)
print("Month: ", datetime.month)
print("Date: ", datetime.day)
print("Hour: ", datetime.hour)
print("Minute: ", datetime.minute)
print("Second: ", datetime.second)
print("TimeZone info: ", datetime.tzinfo)
Playing around with datetime.now()

Explanation

  • Line 1: We import the library, datetime.
  • Line 3: We call the datetime.now() method and store the output in the datetime variable.
  • Lines 5–11: We print the datetime value.

The strftime() method

We can also convert date objects into strings using the strftime() method.

Example

from datetime import datetime

str_date = datetime(2022, 9, 5)

print(str_date.strftime("%B"))
Exploring the strftime() method

Explanation

  • Line 1: We import the library, datetime.
  • Line 3: We call the datetime method with year, month, and day as arguments. It returns the value stored in the str_date variable.
  • Line 4: We call the strtime() method with str_date and print it.
Important functions of datetime class

Function name

Description

fromisoformat()

It returns a datetime object according to string representation.

utcnow()

It returns the current UTC date and time

timetuple()

It returns an object of the type `time.struct_time`

today()

It returns local DateTime and tzinfo as None in it.

replace()

It changes the specified attributes of given the DateTime object

astimezone()

It returns the timezone information of DateTime object.

strptime()

It returns a DateTime object relevant to the date string

tzname()

It returns the name of the relevant timezone

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