(formerly known as Kalends)

Build Status Inline docs Hex Version

Calendar is a date and time library for Elixir.

The Olson/Eggert "Time Zone Database" is used. Years 1 through 9999 are supported.

Getting started

Add Calendar as a dependency to an Elixir project by adding it to your mix.exs file:

defp deps do
  [  {:calendar, "~> 0.8.1"},  ]

Then run mix deps.get which will fetch Calendar via the hex package manager.


Calendar has 4 basic types of structs:

  • Date - a simple date without time e.g. 2015-12-24
  • Time - a simple time without a date e.g. 14:30:00 or 15:21:12.532985
  • NaiveDateTime - datetimes without timezone information e.g. 2015-12-24 14:30:00
  • DateTime - datetimes where the proper timezone name is known e.g. 2015-12-24 14:30:00 in America/New_York or 2015-12-24 17:30:00 in Etc/UTC

Polymorphism and protocols

The functions of each module are appropriate for that type. For instance the Date module has a function next_day! that returns a Date struct for the next day of a provided date. Any Calendar type that contains a date can be used as an argument. So in addition to Date, a DateTime or NaiveDateTime can be used. Also erlang-style tuples with a date or date-time can be used. Example:

{2015, 12, 24} |> Calendar.Date.next_day!
%Calendar.Date{day: 25, month: 12, year: 2015}

And using a NaiveDateTime containing the date 2015-12-24 would also return a Date struct for 2015-12-25:

Calendar.NaiveDateTime.from_erl!({{2015, 12, 24}, {13, 45, 55}}) |> Calendar.Date.next_day!
%Calendar.Date{day: 25, month: 12, year: 2015}

In the same fashion other tuples with at least the same amount of information can be used with other modules. E.g.NaiveDateTime, DateTime, Time structs can be used in the Time module because they all contain an hour, minute and second. DateTime structs and erlang style datetime tuples can be used in the NaiveDateTime module because they contain a date and a time.

Date examples

The Date module is used for handling dates.

# You can create a new date with the from_erl! function:
> jan_first = {2015, 1, 1} |> Calendar.Date.from_erl!
%Calendar.Date{day: 1, month: 1, year: 2015}
# Get a date that is 10000 days ahead of that one
> ten_k_days_later = jan_first |> Calendar.Date.advance!(10000)
%Calendar.Date{day: 19, month: 5, year: 2042}
# Is it friday?
> jan_first |> Calendar.Date.friday?
# What day of the week is it?
> jan_first |> Calendar.Date.day_of_week_name
# In Spanish by passing :es as language code
jan_first |> Calendar.Date.day_of_week_name :es

# Use the DateTime module to get the time right now and
# pipe it to the Date module to get the week number
> Calendar.DateTime.now_utc |> Calendar.Date.week_number
{2015, 28}
# Pipe the week number tuple into another function to get a list
# of the dates for that week
> Calendar.DateTime.now_utc |> Calendar.Date.week_number |> Calendar.Date.dates_for_week_number
[%Calendar.Date{day: 6, month: 7, year: 2015},
 %Calendar.Date{day: 7, month: 7, year: 2015},
 %Calendar.Date{day: 8, month: 7, year: 2015},
 %Calendar.Date{day: 9, month: 7, year: 2015},
 %Calendar.Date{day: 10, month: 7, year: 2015},
 %Calendar.Date{day: 11, month: 7, year: 2015},
 %Calendar.Date{day: 12, month: 7, year: 2015}]


Use NaiveDateTime modules when you have a date-time, but do not know the timezone.

# An erlang style datetime tuple advanced 10 seconds
{{1999, 12, 31}, {23, 59, 59}} |> Calendar.NaiveDateTime.advance!(10)
%Calendar.NaiveDateTime{day: 1, hour: 0, min: 0, month: 1, sec: 9, usec: nil,
 year: 2000}
# Parse a "C Time" string.
> {:ok, ndt} = "Wed Apr  9 07:53:03 2003" |> Calendar.NaiveDateTime.Parse.asctime
 %Calendar.NaiveDateTime{day: 9, hour: 7, min: 53, month: 4, sec: 3, usec: nil,
  year: 2003}}
# NaiveDateTime.Format.asctime can take a naive datetime and format it
# as a as a C time string. We format the NaiveDateTime struct we just got from
# parsing and get the same result as the original input:
> ndt |> Calendar.NaiveDateTime.Format.asctime
"Wed Apr  9 07:53:03 2003"

DateTime usage examples

For these example first either alias DateTime with this command: alias Calendar.DateTime or for use within a module add use Calendar to the module.

The time right now for a specified time zone:

cph =! "Europe/Copenhagen"
%Calendar.DateTime{abbr: "CEST", day: 5, hour: 21,
 min: 59, month: 10, sec: 24, std_off: 3600, timezone: "Europe/Copenhagen",
 usec: 678805, utc_off: 3600, year: 2014}

Get a DateTime struct for the 4th of October 2014 at 23:44:32 in the city of Montevideo:

{:ok, mvd} = DateTime.from_erl {{2014,10,4},{23,44,32}}, "America/Montevideo"
 %Calendar.DateTime{abbr: "UYT", day: 4, hour: 23, min: 44, month: 10, sec: 32,
  std_off: 0, timezone: "America/Montevideo", usec: nil, utc_off: -10800,
  year: 2014}}

A DateTime struct is now assigned to the variable mvd. Let's get a DateTime struct for the same time in the London time zone:

london = mvd |> DateTime.shift_zone! "Europe/London"
%Calendar.DateTime{abbr: "BST", day: 5, hour: 3, min: 44, month: 10, sec: 32,
 std_off: 3600, timezone: "Europe/London", usec: nil, utc_off: 0, year: 2014}

...and then in UTC:

london |> DateTime.shift_zone! "Etc/UTC"
%Calendar.DateTime{abbr: "UTC", day: 5, hour: 2, min: 44, month: 10, sec: 32,
 std_off: 0, timezone: "Etc/UTC", usec: nil, utc_off: 0, year: 2014}

Transforming a DateTime to a string in ISO 8601 / RFC 3339 format:

> mvd |> DateTime.Format.rfc3339
# or ISO 8601 basic
> mvd |> DateTime.Format.iso_8601_basic

Format as a unix timestamp:

mvd |> DateTime.Format.unix

Parsing an RFC 3339 timestamp as UTC:

{:ok, parsed} = DateTime.Parse.rfc3339_utc "2014-10-04T23:44:32.4999Z"
{:ok, %Calendar.DateTime{abbr: "UTC", day: 4, usec: 499900, hour: 23,
        min: 44, month: 10, sec: 32, std_off: 0, timezone: "Etc/UTC",
        utc_off: 0, year: 2014}}
# Format the parsed DateTime as ISO 8601 Basic
parsed |> DateTime.Format.iso_8601_basic

Transform a DateTime struct to an Erlang style tuple:

cph |> DateTime.to_erl
{{2014, 10, 5}, {21, 59, 24}}

Make a new DateTime from a tuple and advance it 1800 seconds.

DateTime.from_erl!({{2014,10,4},{23,44,32}}, "Europe/Oslo") |> DateTime.advance(1800)
 %Calendar.DateTime{abbr: "CEST", day: 5, hour: 0, min: 14, month: 10, sec: 32,
  std_off: 3600, timezone: "Europe/Oslo", usec: nil, utc_off: 3600, year: 2014}}

String formatting

Calendar has polymorphic string formatting that does not get you into trouble by silently using fake data.

If you need a well known format, such as RFC 3339 the DateTime.Format and NaiveDateTime.Format modules have functions for a lot of those. In case you want to do something custom or want to format simple Dates or Times, you can use the Strftime module. It uses formatting strings already known from the strftime "standard".

The strftime function takes all the struct types: Date, Time, DateTime, NaiveDateTime and datetime tuples. You just have to make sure that the conversion specs (the codes with the %-signs) are appropriate for whatever is input.

# a Date struct works fine with these conversion specs (%a, %d, %m, %y)
# because they just require a date
Calendar.Date.from_erl!({2014,9,6}) |> Calendar.Strftime.strftime "%a %d.%m.%y"
{:ok, "Sat 06.09.14"}
# A tuple like this is treated as a NaiveDateTime and also works because
# it contains a date.
{{2014,9,6}, {12, 13, 34}} |> Calendar.Strftime.strftime "%a %d.%m.%y"
{:ok, "Sat 06.09.14"}
# Trying to use date conversion specs and passing a Time struct results in an
# error because a Time struct does not have the year or any other of the
# data necessary for the string "%a %d.%m.%y"
Calendar.Time.from_erl!({12, 30, 59}) |> Calendar.Strftime.strftime "%a %d.%m.%y"
{:error, :missing_data_for_conversion_spec}


Documentation can be found at


If you want to use Calendar with Ecto, there is a library for that: Calecto

This makes it easy to save the different types of time and date representations to a database. And later work with them in an easy and safe manner.

Raison d'ĂȘtre

The purpose of Calendar is to have an easy to use library for handling dates, time and datetimes that gives correct results.

Instead of treating everything as a datetime, the different types (Date, Time, NaiveDateTime, DateTime) provide clarity and safety from certain bugs.

Before Calendar, there was no Elixir library with correct time zone support. The timezone information was later extracted from Calendar into the Tzdata library.

"use" macro

You can then call Calendar functions like this: Calendar.DateTime.now_utc. But in order to avoid typing Calendar all the time you can add use Calendar to your modules. This aliases Calendar modules such as DateTime, Time, Date and NaiveDateTime. Which means that you can call for instance DateTime.now_utc without writing Calendar. Example:

defmodule NewYearsHttpLib do
  use Calendar

  def httpdate_new_years(year) do
    {:ok, dt} = DateTime.from_erl({{year,1,1},{0,0,0}}, "Etc/UTC")

  # Calling httpdate_new_years(2015) will return
  # "Thu, 01 Jan 2015 00:00:00 GMT"

Name change from Kalends, upgrade instructions.

For existing users of Kalends: Kalends has changed its name to Calendar. To upgrade: - In your code replace all instances of Kalends with Calendar - In your code replace all instances of :kalends with :calendar - In case you are also using Kalecto, it has changed its name to Calecto. In a similair fashion replace Kalecto with Calecto and :kalecto with :calecto - In your mix.exs file make sure you are specifying a valid version of :calendar

Known bugs

There are no confirmed bugs as this is written. But if you do find a problem, please create an issue on the GitHub page:


Calendar is released under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file.