Предлагаю вам послушать очень красивую легенду об Альсаони*, дочери греческого бога ветра Эола.
The weeks on either side of the winter solstice were special in Ancient Greek mythology and there, Grant, lies the story of the origin of a lovely English word…
– You’ll tell us.
– I will. You may recall that in Greek myth Aeolus was the god of the winds and he had a daughter named Alcyone. She fell in love with a mortal named Ceyx and they had this incredible blissfully happy marriage. But their big mistake was that Ceyx and Alcyone were so happy that they dared compare their relationship to that of Zeus and Hero, the king and queen of the gods, and you know in Ancient Greece you don’t do that, right? So, when Ceyx was travelling on a ship, Zeus, in a fit of rage, sent a storm to racket and his wife Alcyone had this premonition about her husband’s death and so she went down to the sea shore and looked for him and sure enough there the body of her beloved husband washed upon the shore. And she was so despondent that the gods finally felt sorry for her, as they often do in Greek myths. So they changed both Alcyone and her husband into kingfishers. Now, these are birds whose devotion to each other is legendary. And in honour of Alcyone the Greeks gave her name to this bird. And tradition holds that just before and after the winter solstice the descendants of this devoted pair of birds charm the seas for just a couple of weeks and during that time the surface of the sea is so calm that they nest on water and they hatch their eggs. And this period of calm seas and happiness gave us an English term for a period of happy tranquility – those happy days of Alcyone became in English ‘halcyon days’.
В русской традиции она зовется Гальционой, но насколько красивее имя Альсаони, правда?