As of December 14th, we are (supposedly) in the midst of the Halcyon Days, a two-week period of calm weather in December lasting until the 28th of this year (check your nearest personal weather station to see if it's holding true this year!). To what do we owe this meteorological kindness?
Thanks, Greek myth! Apparently, the Greek goddess Alcyone, daughter of the wind god Aeolus, threw herself into the ocean when her mortal husband Ceyx died during a storm at sea. The gods took pity on both of them and turned them into birds, becalming the sea for two weeks to allow them to build nests and lay eggs on the water's surface without fear of disruption by storms. Gradually, these mythical "halcyon" birds became synonymous with the kingfisher bird, a real species which - although it does not lay its eggs in winter - does sometimes nest near water and would theoretically benefit from calm weather.
"Halcyon days" is used in general speech to mean a calm, tranquil, prosperous, or otherwise fortunate period of time in the past, which is pretty funny considering how stressed out everyone usually is around the winter holidays (imprinted stress balls always work for me). I bet all those people waiting in hours-long lines to buy promotional holiday gifts (remember Tickle Me Elmo?) or scrambling to find last-minute personal transportation to their family for the holidays will really look back at the calendar two weeks from now and sigh wistfully, remembering how relaxing it was.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Posted by Promotional Products Blogger at 7:47 AM