Spark SQL - Convert Date/Timestamp to String via date_format Function

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Spark SQL function date_format can be used to convert date or timestamp to string with certain format. 

Date to string

spark-sql> select date_format(DATE'2022-01-01','dd MMM yyyy');
date_format(CAST(DATE '2022-01-01' AS TIMESTAMP), dd MMM yyyy)
01 Jan 2022

Timestamp to string

spark-sql> select date_format(TIMESTAMP'2022-01-01 13:30:45','dd MMM yyyy, HH:mm a');
date_format(TIMESTAMP '2022-01-01 13:30:45', dd MMM yyyy, HH:mm a)
01 Jan 2022, 13:30 PM

Use cast function

We can also use cast function to convert date/timestamp to string as the following code snippet shows:

spark-sql> select cast(DATE'2022-01-01' as string);
CAST(DATE '2022-01-01' AS STRING)
2022-01-01

DateTimeFormatter

All the available format symbols are listed below:

  Symbol  Meaning                     Presentation      Examples
  ------  -------                     ------------      -------
   G       era                         text              AD; Anno Domini; A
   u       year                        year              2004; 04
   y       year-of-era                 year              2004; 04
   D       day-of-year                 number            189
   M/L     month-of-year               number/text       7; 07; Jul; July; J
   d       day-of-month                number            10

   Q/q     quarter-of-year             number/text       3; 03; Q3; 3rd quarter
   Y       week-based-year             year              1996; 96
   w       week-of-week-based-year     number            27
   W       week-of-month               number            4
   E       day-of-week                 text              Tue; Tuesday; T
   e/c     localized day-of-week       number/text       2; 02; Tue; Tuesday; T
   F       week-of-month               number            3

   a       am-pm-of-day                text              PM
   h       clock-hour-of-am-pm (1-12)  number            12
   K       hour-of-am-pm (0-11)        number            0
   k       clock-hour-of-am-pm (1-24)  number            0

   H       hour-of-day (0-23)          number            0
   m       minute-of-hour              number            30
   s       second-of-minute            number            55
   S       fraction-of-second          fraction          978
   A       milli-of-day                number            1234
   n       nano-of-second              number            987654321
   N       nano-of-day                 number            1234000000

   V       time-zone ID                zone-id           America/Los_Angeles; Z; -08:30
   z       time-zone name              zone-name         Pacific Standard Time; PST
   O       localized zone-offset       offset-O          GMT+8; GMT+08:00; UTC-08:00;
   X       zone-offset 'Z' for zero    offset-X          Z; -08; -0830; -08:30; -083015; -08:30:15;
   x       zone-offset                 offset-x          +0000; -08; -0830; -08:30; -083015; -08:30:15;
   Z       zone-offset                 offset-Z          +0000; -0800; -08:00;

   p       pad next                    pad modifier      1

   '       escape for text             delimiter
   ''      single quote                literal           '
   [       optional section start
   ]       optional section end
   #       reserved for future use
   {       reserved for future use
   }       reserved for future use
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