I’m creating a new Secular/Interfaith Calendar, which can be fully embraced and enjoyed by nonreligious people, humanists, progressives and non-theists but which does not exclude orthodox religious people. The aim is to support the flourishing of nonreligious people who are often partly or wholly excluded from seasonal celebrations, while being as inclusive as possible.
Existing secular calendars tend to have a lot of dates that are a bit partisan or not so inclusive (atheist days for example – not even all Humanists identify as atheists!), days which focus on particular people but often exclusively white males like Charles Darwin and Thomas Paine and so forth. I am looking to create something more international and inclusive than the previous calendars but in addition to that framework people can celebrate certain more exclusive days and events that are important to them but not necessarily to others.
Punctuating the year with seasonal festivals and special days, with their associated rituals, customs and events, helps to make our journey through life more meaningful. It anchors the passing of time in our values and aspirations and the rhythms of nature. These events bring us together and help us connect with one another and the earth. They enrich our lives with art, culture and learning. They also make life a whole lot more fun!
Below is the first draft. I would really value readers’ comments and participation as I continue to develop it. The events correspond as closely as possible to existing special days, weeks and celebrations.
I will be updating the calendar over the course of a few months in response to further research and the constructive comments and suggestions I receive during consultations with the wider community.
The plan is to launch the New Secular Calendar in January 2021.
Do add your comments and suggestions below!
New Secular Calendar:
I am very much hoping people will create their own rituals and artistic interpretations based on the calendar, as well as joining in with those I may suggest, and that the calendar will support the growth and flourishing of all but especially the non-religious in terms of an ability to create and renew meaning, a depth and enjoyment of human connections (and connections with other living things and the earth), an experience of wonder, love and self-transcendence, reflective, creative and contemplative practices, a reinforcement of shared values and goals, ethical engagement and the nurturing of visions and aspirations, an ability to remember important aspects of history and a commitment to lifelong learning and growth in critical thought, empathy, compassion and so forth…