The seven days preceding, and the seven days following the shortest day, or the winter solstice, were called by the ancients the Halcyon Days. This phrase, so familiar as expressive of a period of tranquillity and happiness, is derived from a fable, that during the period just indicated, while the halcyon bird or kingfisher was breeding, the sea was always calm and might be navigated in perfect security by the mariner. The name halcyon is derived from two Greek words (meaning ‘the sea’ and ‘to conceive’) and, according to the poetic fiction, the bird was represented as hatching her eggs on a floating nest, in the midst of the waters.
Chambers Book of Days (1864)
May we all enjoy some halcyon days over the holidays –
tranquillity and happiness
Photo: Pond at Logan Botanic Garden