Myth of Alcyone - Herbert James Draper (1915) - credits: wikimedia.org
Myth of Alcyone - Herbert James Draper (1915) - credits: wikimedia.org

It is known that Halcyon days refer to the warm days during winter time, but only a few people have heard of the myth of Alkyone – the myth behind the Halcyon days, which is part of the fascinating world of Greek mythology and reminds us that there is always enough space for good vibes in our lives, even during the toughest of times.

According to Greek Mythology, Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus, the god of Wind, and used to live with her husband Ceyx at the seaside. Alcyone and Ceyx were so happy and in love with each other that they drew a parallel between them and the couple of Zeus and Hera, calling each other with the gods' names. This comparison proved to be an imprudent idea and it was perceived as an act of disrespect towards the father of Gods, Zeus, who got furious with the couple and transformed Ceyx into a vulture. Alkyone without knowing about the transformation started searching for her husband and not being able to find him, she got tired, bitterly disappointed and a little mad.

myth-of-alcyone                              Alkyone looking desperately for her husband - credits: National Museum Wales

The Olympian gods felt sorry for her and decided to transform her into a bird as well. Alkyone –known as Alkyona bird from that moment on- started looking desperately for her husband in the sea, but her sorrow was didn't end there; in spite of the fact that most of the birds lay eggs during spring or summertime, Alkyona was condemned to lay eggs during the cold days of winter. This caused severely distressing experiences for Alkyona once more, with the raging sea waves hitting her nest and taking some of the eggs away from her, causing her to break down. 

So much was her sorrow that the gods of Olympus decided to show mercy to her and Zeus ordered that the wind is ceased and the weather gets warm and sunny for 15 days every January, thus, giving Alkyona enough time to lay and hatch her eggs, feed her small birds and then let them fly strong and independent in the eternal blue sky.

                                                       Halcyon days - credits: https://goo.gl/3y1fbC
 

Halcyon days are a message of optimism and positive thinking to the world, reminding us that there is nothing permanent and nothing obvious in this life; there are bad and good things, sunny and rainy days, and they all come and go, revealing a world full of wonders; the greatest of which is life itself.

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Myths are an integral part of Greek culture. If you want to feel enchanted by the wisdom hidden in ancient Greek myths and the cultural impact they had in the development of human thought, indulge in a mythological walking tour of Athens and get introduced to the city of Athens through the captivating tales of Greek mythology.