The People of the Book Calendar presents the Jewish, Christian and Islamic calendars side by side. It’s easy to find calendars that combine the Gregorian calendar with one other; an Islamic/Gregorian calendar can be found online and in many Islamic countries and a Jewish/Gregorian calendar can even be found in major bookstores in the United States. One can find Gregorian calendars that attempt to list every conceivable religious and national holiday all over the world, but only the Gregorian date they fall on.
Some years ago I went in search of a calendar that combined the Jewish, Christian and Islamic calendars into one, honestly assuming it existed for sure – but I couldn’t find one. Not in bookstores. Not even online. I looked for this calendar because I wanted to buy one. I had learned so much about each of these three religions, particularly how closely related they are, and I wanted to be able to follow their respective calendars together.
The Gregorian calendar is today’s internationally accepted civil calendar and is also known as the “Christian calendar”. Frankly, any calendar created today would have to include this one in order to be of much use in our daily lives. That is why we do find Jewish/Christian calendars and Islamic/Christian calendars. They are created as a tool for Jewish and Muslim people to keep track of their respective religious calendars as they relate to their civil lives.
I started to wonder, why isn’t there a calendar that combines all three? Maybe it’s an assumption that neither a Jew nor a Muslim has any interest in knowing the other’s calendar, and that a Christian has no interest in knowing either the Jewish or Islamic calendars. Maybe it’s because despite the profoundly close relationship these three religions have, many people think they are as different as night and day.
Whatever the reason, I wanted the calendar to exist, so I created it. I stared publishing a print version in 2010 on Lulu.com.
In 2013, I switched to Zazzle.com because their updated calendar creator began to allow for both the image and calendar pages to be uploaded. This made it possible for me to publish the calendar with date blocks exactly the way I had envisioned them because I could create them myself in Photoshop with no limitations.
Later, I created this logo as a symbol of unity between Jewish, Christian and Muslim people. It is a simplified image of three people holding and reading one book together. I believe we are all “people of the book”, guided by our shared prophets and by the Word that has been given to us.
Perhaps more exciting is this blog, a place where anyone in the world can keep track of the current date in all three calendars. The current date is always displayed at the top of the left sidebar and the current lunar phase is located at the top of the right sidebar. There are regular posts about each holiday and important event in each calendar as well as other posts related to the calendars.
Visit this site to always keep track of the current date in your religious calendar and to learn more about the calendars used by other “people of the book”. I believe that the more we learn, the more we’ll see how much we have in common.