Using pandas.Series.dt accessor to work with date and time

Updated: February 19, 2024 By: Guest Contributor Post a comment


The pandas library in Python is widely recognized for its ability to handle and manipulate structured data, especially when it comes to time series data. This tutorial dives deep into the dt accessor, a powerful tool within pandas that allows for easy manipulation and extraction of date and time components from a Series object. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience with pandas, this guide provides comprehensive insights and code examples to harness the full potential of the dt accessor.

Getting Started with dt Accessor

Before delving into complex operations, it’s essential to understand what the dt accessor is. In pandas, when you create a Series containing date and time information, pandas automatically provides a dt accessor if the data is of a datetime dtype. This accessor makes it incredibly easy to access and manipulate the date and time components of each element in the Series.

Basic Example

import pandas as pd

def timestamp_to_date():
    date_series = pd.Series(pd.date_range('20230101', periods=6))


This simple example demonstrates how to convert a Series of timestamps into a Series of day values utilizing the dt accessor.

Extracting Date Components

One of the most common uses of the dt accessor is to extract date components. You can easily extract year, month, day, and even more granular components like hour, minute, and second.

import pandas as pd

# Create a datetime Series
dates = pd.Series(pd.date_range('2023-01-01', periods=3, freq='D'))

# Extract components

This code will output:

0 2023
1 2023
2 2023
0 1
1 1
2 1
0 0
1 0
2 0

Manipulating Date and Time

The dt accessor not only allows for the extraction of date components but also enables direct manipulation of the datetime Series. This includes operations such as changing the date, adding or subtracting time deltas, and even converting time zones.

Adding Time Deltas

import pandas as pd
from datetime import timedelta

# Create a datetime Series
dates = pd.Series(pd.date_range('2023-05-01', periods=3, freq='D'))

# Add 1 day to each date
dates += timedelta(days=1)

This code will output a Series with each date incremented by one day.

Advanced Usage

For those looking to dive deeper, the dt accessor also supports more advanced functionalities such as filtering dates based on certain conditions, accessing quarter and week of year components, and working with business day calculations.

Filtering by Weekday

import pandas as pd

def filter_weekdays():
    dates = pd.Series(pd.date_range(start='2023-01-01', end='2023-01-31'))
    weekdays = dates[dates.dt.weekday < 5]


This function isolates dates that fall on weekdays, showcasing the flexibility of the dt accessor in filtering data based on specific conditions.


Throughout this tutorial, we have explored various facets of the dt accessor within pandas for manipulating and extracting date and time components. With its intuitive syntax and robust capabilities, the dt accessor is an indispensable tool for anyone working with time series data in pandas. Embracing these techniques will undeniably enhance your data manipulation skills and streamline your workflow.