Date and Time

The date and time functionality provided by Babel lets you format standard Python datetime, date and time objects and and work with timezones.

Date and Time Formatting

babel.dates.format_datetime(datetime=None, format='medium', tzinfo=None, locale='en_US')

Return a date formatted according to the given pattern.

>>> dt = datetime(2007, 04, 01, 15, 30)
>>> format_datetime(dt, locale='en_US')
u'Apr 1, 2007, 3:30:00 PM'

For any pattern requiring the display of the time-zone, the third-party pytz package is needed to explicitly specify the time-zone:

>>> format_datetime(dt, 'full', tzinfo=get_timezone('Europe/Paris'),
...                 locale='fr_FR')
u'dimanche 1 avril 2007 17:30:00 heure avanc\xe9e d\u2019Europe centrale'
>>> format_datetime(dt, "yyyy.MM.dd G 'at' HH:mm:ss zzz",
...                 tzinfo=get_timezone('US/Eastern'), locale='en')
u'2007.04.01 AD at 11:30:00 EDT'
Parameters:
  • datetime – the datetime object; if None, the current date and time is used
  • format – one of “full”, “long”, “medium”, or “short”, or a custom date/time pattern
  • tzinfo – the timezone to apply to the time for display
  • locale – a Locale object or a locale identifier
babel.dates.format_date(date=None, format='medium', locale='en_US')

Return a date formatted according to the given pattern.

>>> d = date(2007, 04, 01)
>>> format_date(d, locale='en_US')
u'Apr 1, 2007'
>>> format_date(d, format='full', locale='de_DE')
u'Sonntag, 1. April 2007'

If you don’t want to use the locale default formats, you can specify a custom date pattern:

>>> format_date(d, "EEE, MMM d, ''yy", locale='en')
u"Sun, Apr 1, '07"
Parameters:
  • date – the date or datetime object; if None, the current date is used
  • format – one of “full”, “long”, “medium”, or “short”, or a custom date/time pattern
  • locale – a Locale object or a locale identifier
babel.dates.format_time(time=None, format='medium', tzinfo=None, locale='en_US')

Return a time formatted according to the given pattern.

>>> t = time(15, 30)
>>> format_time(t, locale='en_US')
u'3:30:00 PM'
>>> format_time(t, format='short', locale='de_DE')
u'15:30'

If you don’t want to use the locale default formats, you can specify a custom time pattern:

>>> format_time(t, "hh 'o''clock' a", locale='en')
u"03 o'clock PM"

For any pattern requiring the display of the time-zone a timezone has to be specified explicitly:

>>> t = datetime(2007, 4, 1, 15, 30)
>>> tzinfo = get_timezone('Europe/Paris')
>>> t = tzinfo.localize(t)
>>> format_time(t, format='full', tzinfo=tzinfo, locale='fr_FR')
u'15:30:00 heure avanc\xe9e d\u2019Europe centrale'
>>> format_time(t, "hh 'o''clock' a, zzzz", tzinfo=get_timezone('US/Eastern'),
...             locale='en')
u"09 o'clock AM, Eastern Daylight Time"

As that example shows, when this function gets passed a datetime.datetime value, the actual time in the formatted string is adjusted to the timezone specified by the tzinfo parameter. If the datetime is “naive” (i.e. it has no associated timezone information), it is assumed to be in UTC.

These timezone calculations are not performed if the value is of type datetime.time, as without date information there’s no way to determine what a given time would translate to in a different timezone without information about whether daylight savings time is in effect or not. This means that time values are left as-is, and the value of the tzinfo parameter is only used to display the timezone name if needed:

>>> t = time(15, 30)
>>> format_time(t, format='full', tzinfo=get_timezone('Europe/Paris'),
...             locale='fr_FR')
u'15:30:00 heure normale de l\u2019Europe centrale'
>>> format_time(t, format='full', tzinfo=get_timezone('US/Eastern'),
...             locale='en_US')
u'3:30:00 PM Eastern Standard Time'
Parameters:
  • time – the time or datetime object; if None, the current time in UTC is used
  • format – one of “full”, “long”, “medium”, or “short”, or a custom date/time pattern
  • tzinfo – the time-zone to apply to the time for display
  • locale – a Locale object or a locale identifier
babel.dates.format_timedelta(delta, granularity='second', threshold=0.85, add_direction=False, format='medium', locale='en_US')

Return a time delta according to the rules of the given locale.

>>> format_timedelta(timedelta(weeks=12), locale='en_US')
u'3 months'
>>> format_timedelta(timedelta(seconds=1), locale='es')
u'1 segundo'

The granularity parameter can be provided to alter the lowest unit presented, which defaults to a second.

>>> format_timedelta(timedelta(hours=3), granularity='day',
...                  locale='en_US')
u'1 day'

The threshold parameter can be used to determine at which value the presentation switches to the next higher unit. A higher threshold factor means the presentation will switch later. For example:

>>> format_timedelta(timedelta(hours=23), threshold=0.9, locale='en_US')
u'1 day'
>>> format_timedelta(timedelta(hours=23), threshold=1.1, locale='en_US')
u'23 hours'

In addition directional information can be provided that informs the user if the date is in the past or in the future:

>>> format_timedelta(timedelta(hours=1), add_direction=True, locale='en')
u'In 1 hour'
>>> format_timedelta(timedelta(hours=-1), add_direction=True, locale='en')
u'1 hour ago'
Parameters:
  • delta – a timedelta object representing the time difference to format, or the delta in seconds as an int value
  • granularity – determines the smallest unit that should be displayed, the value can be one of “year”, “month”, “week”, “day”, “hour”, “minute” or “second”
  • threshold – factor that determines at which point the presentation switches to the next higher unit
  • add_direction – if this flag is set to True the return value will include directional information. For instance a positive timedelta will include the information about it being in the future, a negative will be information about the value being in the past.
  • format – the format (currently only “medium” and “short” are supported)
  • locale – a Locale object or a locale identifier

Timezone Functionality

babel.dates.get_timezone(zone=None)

Looks up a timezone by name and returns it. The timezone object returned comes from pytz and corresponds to the tzinfo interface and can be used with all of the functions of Babel that operate with dates.

If a timezone is not known a LookupError is raised. If zone is None a local zone object is returned.

Parameters:zone – the name of the timezone to look up. If a timezone object itself is passed in, mit’s returned unchanged.
babel.dates.get_timezone_gmt(datetime=None, width='long', locale='en_US')

Return the timezone associated with the given datetime object formatted as string indicating the offset from GMT.

>>> dt = datetime(2007, 4, 1, 15, 30)
>>> get_timezone_gmt(dt, locale='en')
u'GMT+00:00'
>>> tz = get_timezone('America/Los_Angeles')
>>> dt = datetime(2007, 4, 1, 15, 30, tzinfo=tz)
>>> get_timezone_gmt(dt, locale='en')
u'GMT-08:00'
>>> get_timezone_gmt(dt, 'short', locale='en')
u'-0800'

The long format depends on the locale, for example in France the acronym UTC string is used instead of GMT:

>>> get_timezone_gmt(dt, 'long', locale='fr_FR')
u'UTC-08:00'

New in version 0.9.

Parameters:
  • datetime – the datetime object; if None, the current date and time in UTC is used
  • width – either “long” or “short”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_timezone_location(dt_or_tzinfo=None, locale='en_US')

Return a representation of the given timezone using “location format”.

The result depends on both the local display name of the country and the city associated with the time zone:

>>> tz = get_timezone('America/St_Johns')
>>> get_timezone_location(tz, locale='de_DE')
u"Kanada (St. John's) Zeit"
>>> tz = get_timezone('America/Mexico_City')
>>> get_timezone_location(tz, locale='de_DE')
u'Mexiko (Mexiko-Stadt) Zeit'

If the timezone is associated with a country that uses only a single timezone, just the localized country name is returned:

>>> tz = get_timezone('Europe/Berlin')
>>> get_timezone_name(tz, locale='de_DE')
u'Mitteleurop\xe4ische Zeit'

New in version 0.9.

Parameters:
  • dt_or_tzinfo – the datetime or tzinfo object that determines the timezone; if None, the current date and time in UTC is assumed
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
Returns:

the localized timezone name using location format

babel.dates.get_timezone_name(dt_or_tzinfo=None, width='long', uncommon=False, locale='en_US', zone_variant=None)

Return the localized display name for the given timezone. The timezone may be specified using a datetime or tzinfo object.

>>> dt = time(15, 30, tzinfo=get_timezone('America/Los_Angeles'))
>>> get_timezone_name(dt, locale='en_US')
u'Pacific Standard Time'
>>> get_timezone_name(dt, width='short', locale='en_US')
u'PST'

If this function gets passed only a tzinfo object and no concrete datetime, the returned display name is indenpendent of daylight savings time. This can be used for example for selecting timezones, or to set the time of events that recur across DST changes:

>>> tz = get_timezone('America/Los_Angeles')
>>> get_timezone_name(tz, locale='en_US')
u'Pacific Time'
>>> get_timezone_name(tz, 'short', locale='en_US')
u'PT'

If no localized display name for the timezone is available, and the timezone is associated with a country that uses only a single timezone, the name of that country is returned, formatted according to the locale:

>>> tz = get_timezone('Europe/Berlin')
>>> get_timezone_name(tz, locale='de_DE')
u'Mitteleurop\xe4ische Zeit'
>>> get_timezone_name(tz, locale='pt_BR')
u'Hor\xe1rio da Europa Central'

On the other hand, if the country uses multiple timezones, the city is also included in the representation:

>>> tz = get_timezone('America/St_Johns')
>>> get_timezone_name(tz, locale='de_DE')
u'Neufundland-Zeit'

Note that short format is currently not supported for all timezones and all locales. This is partially because not every timezone has a short code in every locale. In that case it currently falls back to the long format.

For more information see LDML Appendix J: Time Zone Display Names

New in version 0.9.

Changed in version 1.0: Added zone_variant support.

Parameters:
  • dt_or_tzinfo – the datetime or tzinfo object that determines the timezone; if a tzinfo object is used, the resulting display name will be generic, i.e. independent of daylight savings time; if None, the current date in UTC is assumed
  • width – either “long” or “short”
  • uncommon – deprecated and ignored
  • zone_variant – defines the zone variation to return. By default the variation is defined from the datetime object passed in. If no datetime object is passed in, the 'generic' variation is assumed. The following values are valid: 'generic', 'daylight' and 'standard'.
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_next_timezone_transition(zone=None, dt=None)

Given a timezone it will return a TimezoneTransition object that holds the information about the next timezone transition that’s going to happen. For instance this can be used to detect when the next DST change is going to happen and how it looks like.

The transition is calculated relative to the given datetime object. The next transition that follows the date is used. If a transition cannot be found the return value will be None.

Transition information can only be provided for timezones returned by the get_timezone() function.

Parameters:
  • zone – the timezone for which the transition should be looked up. If not provided the local timezone is used.
  • dt – the date after which the next transition should be found. If not given the current time is assumed.
babel.dates.UTC

A timezone object for UTC.

babel.dates.LOCALTZ

A timezone object for the computer’s local timezone.

Data Access

babel.dates.get_period_names(locale='en_US')

Return the names for day periods (AM/PM) used by the locale.

>>> get_period_names(locale='en_US')['am']
u'AM'
Parameters:locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_day_names(width='wide', context='format', locale='en_US')

Return the day names used by the locale for the specified format.

>>> get_day_names('wide', locale='en_US')[1]
u'Tuesday'
>>> get_day_names('abbreviated', locale='es')[1]
u'mar'
>>> get_day_names('narrow', context='stand-alone', locale='de_DE')[1]
u'D'
Parameters:
  • width – the width to use, one of “wide”, “abbreviated”, or “narrow”
  • context – the context, either “format” or “stand-alone”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_month_names(width='wide', context='format', locale='en_US')

Return the month names used by the locale for the specified format.

>>> get_month_names('wide', locale='en_US')[1]
u'January'
>>> get_month_names('abbreviated', locale='es')[1]
u'ene'
>>> get_month_names('narrow', context='stand-alone', locale='de_DE')[1]
u'J'
Parameters:
  • width – the width to use, one of “wide”, “abbreviated”, or “narrow”
  • context – the context, either “format” or “stand-alone”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_quarter_names(width='wide', context='format', locale='en_US')

Return the quarter names used by the locale for the specified format.

>>> get_quarter_names('wide', locale='en_US')[1]
u'1st quarter'
>>> get_quarter_names('abbreviated', locale='de_DE')[1]
u'Q1'
Parameters:
  • width – the width to use, one of “wide”, “abbreviated”, or “narrow”
  • context – the context, either “format” or “stand-alone”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_era_names(width='wide', locale='en_US')

Return the era names used by the locale for the specified format.

>>> get_era_names('wide', locale='en_US')[1]
u'Anno Domini'
>>> get_era_names('abbreviated', locale='de_DE')[1]
u'n. Chr.'
Parameters:
  • width – the width to use, either “wide”, “abbreviated”, or “narrow”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_date_format(format='medium', locale='en_US')

Return the date formatting patterns used by the locale for the specified format.

>>> get_date_format(locale='en_US')
<DateTimePattern u'MMM d, y'>
>>> get_date_format('full', locale='de_DE')
<DateTimePattern u'EEEE, d. MMMM y'>
Parameters:
  • format – the format to use, one of “full”, “long”, “medium”, or “short”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_datetime_format(format='medium', locale='en_US')

Return the datetime formatting patterns used by the locale for the specified format.

>>> get_datetime_format(locale='en_US')
u'{1}, {0}'
Parameters:
  • format – the format to use, one of “full”, “long”, “medium”, or “short”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string
babel.dates.get_time_format(format='medium', locale='en_US')

Return the time formatting patterns used by the locale for the specified format.

>>> get_time_format(locale='en_US')
<DateTimePattern u'h:mm:ss a'>
>>> get_time_format('full', locale='de_DE')
<DateTimePattern u'HH:mm:ss zzzz'>
Parameters:
  • format – the format to use, one of “full”, “long”, “medium”, or “short”
  • locale – the Locale object, or a locale string

Basic Parsing

babel.dates.parse_date(string, locale='en_US')

Parse a date from a string.

This function uses the date format for the locale as a hint to determine the order in which the date fields appear in the string.

>>> parse_date('4/1/04', locale='en_US')
datetime.date(2004, 4, 1)
>>> parse_date('01.04.2004', locale='de_DE')
datetime.date(2004, 4, 1)
Parameters:
  • string – the string containing the date
  • locale – a Locale object or a locale identifier
babel.dates.parse_time(string, locale='en_US')

Parse a time from a string.

This function uses the time format for the locale as a hint to determine the order in which the time fields appear in the string.

>>> parse_time('15:30:00', locale='en_US')
datetime.time(15, 30)
Parameters:
  • string – the string containing the time
  • locale – a Locale object or a locale identifier
Returns:

the parsed time

Return type:

time

babel.dates.parse_pattern(pattern)

Parse date, time, and datetime format patterns.

>>> parse_pattern("MMMMd").format
u'%(MMMM)s%(d)s'
>>> parse_pattern("MMM d, yyyy").format
u'%(MMM)s %(d)s, %(yyyy)s'

Pattern can contain literal strings in single quotes:

>>> parse_pattern("H:mm' Uhr 'z").format
u'%(H)s:%(mm)s Uhr %(z)s'

An actual single quote can be used by using two adjacent single quote characters:

>>> parse_pattern("hh' o''clock'").format
u"%(hh)s o'clock"
Parameters:pattern – the formatting pattern to parse

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