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How to Get Day Names in Oracle

Problem:

You want to extract the day of the week from a date in Oracle.

Solution 1:

To extract the day name from the date, use the TO_CHAR() function. The first parameter is the date and the second is the format in which we want to output the date. To extract the day name, the format should be ‘Day’ :

SELECT 
  TO_CHAR(DATE '2022-01-01', 'Day') 
FROM DUAL;

The result is ‘Saturday’.

Discussion:

This is not the only format you can use to extract day names. Here are several alternatives:

  • DAY’ would return ‘SATURDAY
  • day’ would return ‘saturday
  • DY’ would return ‘SAT
  • Dy’ would return ‘Sat
  • dy’ would return ‘sat
  • D’ would return 7 (based on the range 1-7, from Sunday to Saturday)

You can also extract the day name in another language. To do this, you need to use the third parameter, NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE. This parameter can take any valid language name; you can find more on this in NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE’s entry in the Oracle documentation. Let’s try an example.

Solution 2:

Let’s extract the day name in German.

SELECT 
  TO_CHAR(DATE '2022-01-01', 'Day', 'NLS_DATE_LANGUAGE = German’) 
FROM DUAL;

The result is ‘Samstag’.

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