Handling Date in the Format “25-jan-24” in Python

What will you learn?

Explore the art of manipulating and managing dates with a specific format in Python. Learn how to convert a date string like “25-jan-24” into a proper date object and efficiently handle it for various operations.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

Navigating through different date formats can be challenging, but Python equips you with robust tools to tackle them effectively. In this scenario, we encounter a date string formatted as “25-jan-24.” Our goal is to convert this string into a datetime object, enabling us to perform seamless manipulations on it with precision.


from datetime import datetime

# Input date string in the format '25-jan-24'
date_str = '25-jan-24'

# Convert the date string to a datetime object
date_obj = datetime.strptime(date_str, '%d-%b-%y')


# Copyright PHD


In the provided code snippet: 1. Utilize datetime.strptime() method to parse the input date string into a datetime object. 2. The formatting codes %d, %b, and %y represent day (01-31), abbreviated month name (Jan-Dec), and two-digit year respectively. 3. Post conversion, unleash the potential of date_obj for tasks like comparison, component extraction (day, month, year), or transforming it back into diverse representations.

    1. How does strptime() differ from strftime()?

      • strptime() converts strings to datetime objects based on specified formats, while strftime() transforms datetime objects back to strings following specific directives.
    2. Can I change the output date format?

      • Yes, alter the output format using .strftime(‘desired_format’) on your datetime object before printing or displaying it.
    3. What happens if an incorrect format is provided?

      • An incorrect format compared to that specified in strptime() will result in a ValueError, indicating parsing failure.
    4. How can I increment or decrement this date object?

      • Employ methods like .replace(), .timedelta(days=n), or third-party libraries such as Arrow for hassle-free operations.
    5. Can I extract just the month name from this date object?

      • Extract individual components like month using attributes such as .month_name() post converting your text-based representation into a proper datetime object.
    6. Is there any way I could get just two digits of year instead of four during conversion?

      • Ensure your input adheres to two-digit years when parsing dates via strptime() method using appropriate formatting codes represented by %y.

Mastering date handling in varied formats proves essential when dealing with time-sensitive data projects. By delving into efficient manipulation techniques using Python’s built-in modules like datetime, you elevate your ability to manage time-related operations within applications effectively.

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