Romjul and intercalation

The business of calculating years and dates is complicated, since calendars need to reconcile solar and lunar cycles. Different calendrical systems use different methods of reconciling the two cycles, inserting a day (February 29th in the Gregorian calendar), a week, or even a month in some calendars. This practice is called intercalation. It has also been suggested that the time between Yule and New Year is an intercalation.

Two gingerbread houses covered in sweets and icing with a Yule tree lit up with fairy lights in the background

In Norway, the time between Yule and New Year is called Romjul, or Yule space. Rather like the English word Yuletide. During Romjul, Norwegians eat Christmas food, make things, and visit friends. It’s also the time when you smash and eat your gingerbread house. The word Romjul is related to romhelg which comes from the Norse rúmheilagr, which means “does not need to be kept strictly holy”.

It seems like an excellent time to get into a crafting project, write, bake, and play.

Exquisite gingerbread house with ornate icing on it
I wouldn’t have the heart to smash this beautiful gingerbread house

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