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Arrow module in Python
  • Last Updated : 21 Aug, 2020

Arrow is a Python module for working with date and time. It offers a sensible and human-friendly approach to creating, manipulating, formatting and converting dates, times and timestamps. It allows easy creation of date and time instances with timezone awareness.


The arrow module is installed with the following command:

pip install arrow


  • User friendly.
  • Timezone-aware and UTC by default.
  • Timezone conversion.
  • Time frame ranging from microsecond to year.
  • Easy to use.
  • Formats and parses strings automatically.
  • Supports a growing list of contributed locales.

Getting UTC (Universal Time Coordinated) time.

In order to get current UTC time we use utcnow() method.

# importing arrow module
import arrow
# getting UTC time
utc_time = arrow.utcnow()
# printing the current UTC time
print('Current UTC Time is =', utc_time)

Output :

Current UTC Time is = 2020-02-28T18:06:39.228924+00:00

Getting Indian time.

In order to get current regional(Indian) time we use now() method.

# importing arrow module
import arrow
# getting current indian time
ind_time ='Asia/Calcutta')
# printing the time
print('Current India Time =', ind_time)

Output :

Current India Time = 2020-02-28T23:40:07.112695+05:30

Parsing string to date

In order to parse the string into date format we use get() method.

# importing arrow module
import arrow
# date in string format
s ='2020-02-02 12:30:45'
# parsing string into date
date = arrow.get(s, 'YYYY-MM-DD HH:mm:ss')
# printing the date

Output :


Unix time

Unix time is a system for describing a point in time. It is the number of seconds that have elapsed since the Unix epoch, that is the time 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970, minus leap seconds.

  • timestamp() method is used to get unix time.
  • fromtimestamp() method used to convert the Unix time back to the arrow date object.

# importing arrow module
import arrow
# getting current utc time
utc = arrow.utcnow()
# printing the unix time
# getting unix time
unix_time = utc.timestamp
# printing unix time
# converting unix time into arrow date object
date = arrow.Arrow.fromtimestamp(unix_time)
# printing arrow dateobject

Output :


Arrow instance from datetime

An instance of the arrow module can also be created from the DateTime module. Consider the below example for a better understanding of the topic.

# importing arrow module
import arrow
# importing datetime from datetime module
from datetime import datetime
# geeting current time using datetime module
dt =
# creating arrow instance from datetime instance
arrow_dt = arrow.Arrow.fromdate(dt)
# printing datetime instance
# printing arrow instance

Output :

2020-03-04 19:16:04.317690

Properties for getting individual datetime objects

if you want to get any object as an individual,here are some properties that can be used.

#import arrow module
import arrow
#Call datetime functions that return properties
a = arrow.utcnow()
#Get any datetime value

Output :

datetime.time(19, 16, 04, 317690), 3, 4)

Replace and Shift property

if you want to replace or shift any object as an individual,here are some properties that can be used.

#import arrow module
import arrow
# getting current utc time
a = arrow.utcnow()
# printing the unix time without alteration
print("without alteration: ",a)
# replacing only the hours to 5 and minutes to 30
b = a.replace(hour=5, minute=30)
print("with hours and minutes replaced: ",b)
# shifting forward in weeks
c = a.shift(weeks=+3)
print("with weeks shifted 3 forward: ",c)
# replacing only the timezone
d = a.replace(tzinfo='US/Pacific')
print("with timezone replaced: ",d)

Output :

without alteration: 2020-03-04T13:33:15.041536+00:00
with hours and minutes replaced: 2020-03-04T05:30:15.041536+00:00
with weeks shifted 3 forward: 2020-03-25T13:33:15.041536+00:00
with timezone replaced: 2020-03-04T13:33:15.041536-07:00

Humanized format

all the above properties and function outputs are more of a computer format but what if you wanted it to be more of a human form? for example: “an hour ago” or “2 hours ago”,here are some properties that can be used to achieve humanized format.

#import arrow module
import arrow
#Humanize to past
apast = arrow.utcnow().shift(hours=-1)
#humanize to future
present = arrow.utcnow()
afuture = present.shift(hours=3)
#Indicate a specific time granularity
afuture = present.shift(minutes=73)
print(afuture.humanize(present, granularity="minute"))
print(afuture.humanize(present, granularity=["hour", "minute"]))

Output :

'an hour ago'
'in 3 hours'
'in 73 minutes'
'in an hour and 13 minutes'

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