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You are looking at the documentation for Firebolt’s redesigned date and timestamp types. These types were introduced in DB version 3.19 under the names PGDATE, TIMESTAMPNTZ and TIMESTAMPTZ, and synonyms DATE, TIMESTAMP and TIMESTAMPTZ made available in DB version 3.22.

If you worked with Firebolt before DB version 3.22, you might still be using the legacy date and timestamp types. Determine which types you are using by executing the query SELECT EXTRACT(CENTURY FROM DATE '2023-03-16');. If this query returns a result, you are using the redesigned date and timestamp types and can continue with this documentation. If this query returns an error, you are using the legacy date and timestamp types and can find legacy documentation here, or instructions to use the new types here.

If you have not yet switched to the new timestamp types, this function is available under the name TO_PGDATE.

Converts a string to DATE type using format.

The function returns the new date data type DATE, and PGDATE if you are using legacy timestamp types. If you seek for the legacy type function, see TO_DATE (legacy).


TO_DATE(<expression> [,'<format>'])
Parameter Description Supported input types
<expression> The text to convert to a date. If no optional <format> argument is given that can be use to parse the <expression>, the following formats are supported: 'YYYY-M[M]-D[D]' (e.g., 2023-3-28), 'YYYY-month-D[D]' (e.g., 2023-FEB-12), 'month-D[D]-YYYY' (e.g., Dec-01-2023), 'D[D]-month-YYYY' (e.g., 3-jun-2023), and 'month D[D], YYYY' (e.g., august 12, 2023) TEXT
<format> Optional. A string literal that specifies the format of the <expression> to convert. TEXT (see below)

Accepted <format> patterns include the following specifications:

Format option Description Example
YYYY Year (4 or more digits) TO_DATE('2023', 'YYYY'); --> '2023-01-01'
YYY Last 3 digits of year TO_DATE('2023', 'YYY'); --> '2023-01-01'
YY Last 2 digits of year TO_DATE('2023', 'YY'); --> '2023-01-01'
Y Last digit of year TO_DATE('2023', 'Y'); --> '2023-01-01'
MONTH Full month name (case insensitive) TO_DATE('august', 'MONTH'); --> '0001-08-01'
MON abbreviated month name (3 chars, case insensitive) TO_DATE('dec', 'MON'); --> '0001-12-01'
MM Month number (01–12) TO_DATE('7', 'MM'); --> '0001-07-01'
DD Day of month (01–31) TO_DATE('15', 'DD'); --> '0001-01-15'

Usage notes for formatting

  • Case letters in the input <expression> are ignored
  • A separator (non-digit and non-letter) in the <format> string will match exactly one separator or is skipped
  • Any non-separator in the <format> that is not part of a format option will match exactly one other character.
  • Any character in quotes " will match exactly one other character.
  • If the year format specification is 'YYY', 'YY', or 'Y' and the supplied year is less than four digits, the year will be adjusted to be nearest to the year 2020, (e.g., 80 becomes 1980).
  • More specification, such as 'HH', 'MI', or, 'TZH', are accepted but ignored for purposes of computing the DATE result.
  • Modifiers (e.g., 'FM') are not supported.


The example below shows our separators and non-separators can cause skips. The separator ' ' (space) in the <format> matches the other separator '/' in the <expression>. The non-separator 'x' will match any other character, in this case the 'a'. Lastly, the two separators '++' will match up to two other separators, here the first 'x' matches '.' while the second 'x' will simply be ignored as no other separators follow.

        'YYYY xMON++DD'

Returns: '2023-06-23'

The example below shows how the year is adjusted to be nearest to 2020 because YYY was used to match a less than four digit number. To receive the exact year '180' use YYYY instead. Furthermore, as the three separators are quotes "..." they will match any character (separator or non-separator) which in this case is 'ar '.

        'Year 180: August 4th',
        'xx"..."yyy: month DDxx'

Returns: '2180-08-04'