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Halcyon Days Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014 12:00:00 AM
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Halcyon Days

The ancient Greeks called the seven days preceding and the seven days following the Winter Solstice the "Halcyon Days." Greek mythology has it that Halcyone (or Alcyone), Ceyx's wife and one of Aeolus's daughters, drowned herself when she learned her husband had drowned. The gods took pity on her and transformed them both into kingfishers. Zeus commanded the seas to be still during these days, and it was considered a period when sailors could navigate in safety. Today, the expression "halcyon days" has come to mean a period of tranquility often used as a nostalgic reference to times past. More...
NeuroticHellFem
Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014 9:25:37 AM

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I was into Greek mythology as a kid, but I didn't know that 'halcyon days' was an actual time. Thanks TFD!

When you make an assumption, you make an ass of u & umption! - NeuroticHellFem
monamagda
Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014 10:36:20 AM

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Halcyon days

Meaning

Calm, peaceful days.

Origin


halcyon daysThe Halcyon is a bird of Greek legend and the name is now commonly given to the European Kingfisher. The ancients believed that the bird made a floating nest in the Aegean Sea and had the power to calm the waves while brooding her eggs. Fourteen days of calm weather were to be expected when the Halcyon was nesting - around the winter solstice, usually 21st or 22nd of December. The Halcyon days are generally regarded as beginning on the 14th or 15th of December.

The source of the belief in the bird's power to calm the sea originated in a myth recorded by Ovid. The story goes that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, had a daughter named Alcyone, who was married to Ceyx, the king of Thessaly. Ceyx was drowned at sea and Alcyone threw herself into the waves in a fit of grief. Instead of drowning, she was transformed into a bird and carried to her husband by the wind.

The myth came to the English-speaking world in the 14th century, when, in 1398, John Trevisa translated Bartholomew de Glanville's De proprietatibus rerum into Middle English:

"In the cliffe of a ponde of occean, Alcion, a see foule, in wynter maketh her neste and layeth egges in vii days and sittyth on brood ... seuen dayes."

By the 16th century the phrase 'halcyon days' had lost its association with the nesting time of the bird and had taken on the figurative meaning of 'calm days'. Shakespeare used the expression that way in Henry VI, Part I, 1592.

Our current use of 'halcyon days' tends to be nostalgic and recalling of the seemingly endless sunny days of youth - despite the fact that the original halcyon days were in the depths of winter.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/halcyon-days.html

striker
Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014 7:49:45 PM
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days to rest
Dr WWWW
Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2014 10:37:57 PM

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Evidently this story was conceived well before the frenetic shopping days we now associate with the holiday season. Damn ... I only have 10 days to get started.

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting." -- Edmund Burke
monamagda
Posted: Monday, December 14, 2015 1:35:49 PM

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Walt Whitman poem

halcyon days

Not from successful love alone,
Nor wealth, nor honor'd middle age, nor victories of politics or war;
But as life wanes, and all the turbulent passions calm,
As gorgeous, vapory, silent hues cover the evening sky,
As softness, fulness, rest, suffuse the frame, like freshier, balmier air,
As the days take on a mellower light, and the apple at last hangs
really finish'd and indolent-ripe on the tree,
Then for the teeming quietest, happiest days of all!
The brooding and blissful halcyon days!


Walt Whitman: Selected Poems 1855-1892
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