Halcyone (hălsĪˈənē) [key] or Alcyone ăl–, in Greek mythology, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband drowned, Halcyone threw herself into the sea. Out of pity the gods changed the pair into kingfishers or halcyons, and Zeus forbade the winds to blow seven days before and after the winter solstice, the breeding season of the halcyon. The expression "halcyon days" comes from this myth and figuratively means a time of peace and tranquility.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Folklore and Mythology