14 December 2020 – Halcyon Days

I had high hopes for today. Very high hopes. Today is the start of December’s halcyon days, a period of fourteen days, seven either side of the equinox, which is supposed to bring good weather. This was the weatherlore I was going to do three days ago

Halcyon, or alcyon, means kingfisher, and this idea of halcyon days comes from the Greek myth of Alcyone and Ceyx who the Gods transformed into kingfishers so they could both avoid a watery end. It’s said that they mate and tend their nest on the seas at this time, and Alcyone’s father, Aeolus the King of the Winds, keeps the seas calm so as not to disrupt his grandchildren. 

All I know is that today was very gusty. The sun appeared for a couple of hours, but mainly it was grey and wet. So not very halcyon and not a great start. Which is a shame, as my hope for this fortnight was to finally crack my seven days of counting seven stars. Yep, believe it or not, I’m still trying. The most I’ve got up to is five days in a row, such has been the night sky for the last eleven and a bit weeks. 

But the day wasn’t a complete disaster, I did finally get to scratch off the biggest panel on my AdVent calendar:

124 Grosvenor Road, Pimlico, London, SW1V, Western Pumping Station Chimney. Designed by William Webster.

How much time is left on The Everyday Lore Project?

UPDATE: 11.18pm – just counted seven stars! The wind blew away the clouds after all.


The Everyday Lore Project has been running since St Distaff’s Day on 7 January 2020 and will run until 12th Night on 6 January 2021. Despite numerous attempts by Other Life to intervene, and it being the crappiest year to work on a project that was hoping to rely on community events for most of its content, I’ve managed to post something about the folklore I’ve tried every day since the start. And with only 22 days left, please join me in crossing fingers and toes to get me over the finish line. Why not subscribe to see if I do?

Resources

Header: Photo by Travis Blessing on Unsplash

Blackburn, B. and Holdford-Strevens, L. (2003) The Oxford Companion to the Year. An Exploration of Calendar Customs and Time-Reckoning, Oxford, Oxford University Press

Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/12/weatherwatch-the-halcyon-days-of-december-hark-back-to-the-kingfisher

https://www.almanac.com/fact/halcyon-days-begin-the-halcyon-days-also-holiday

https://www.theoi.com/Titan/Aiolos.html

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