An Ancient Greek eye on Meteorology

To everyone’s delight, the Αlkyonides days have come again this year!

We can see you wondering: the what???

The alkyonides days, the days of spring in the heart of winter. These days usually last from 15 December to 15 February and they visit Greece every year, with few exceptions,  ie. 1947.

Do you know the myth about them? Alkyoni was  daughter of Aiolos, God of the winds,  and was married to Kiykos. They were so happily married and so much in love that they called each other Zeus and Hera. The real Zeus and Hera felt deeply offended by the sacrilege and decided to punish them severely. So they transformed Kiykos into a bird, a vulcher. Alkyoni searched for her beloved husband everywhere, but couldn’t find him anywhere. She cried and cried until the Gods decided to transform her into a bird as well,  alkyoni. The problem was that alkyoni is the only sea-bird that lays and hatches its eggs in mid-winter. As a result of that, the waves carried them away and she was left in despair. The gods then, touched by her misfortune and misery, decided to cease the bad weather for two weeks to give alkyoni time to reproduce.  So,  as we can all see, there are some days of spring in the heart of winter which give us the opportunity to … hatch our eggs, take them out in the sunshine, admire them as they are riding their bikes while we are enjoying the heightened temperatures for the season.

(this is one of quite a few versions)

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