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A tranquil period of happiness, especially in the past. The phrase refers to the period around the winter solstice that is associated with calm weather, which in Greek mythology was attributed to the power of the fabled halcyon bird that was said to calm the wind and sea. Ah, those were the halcyon days, before our country was at war.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
The halcyon days of something, are a time in the past when it was especially happy or successful. I doubt whether the wool industry will ever see those halcyon days again. I experienced again the sense of peace and lightness that I associated with the halcyon days at La Chorrera. Note: The seven days before and after the shortest day of the year are sometimes called halcyon days. `Halcyon' comes from the Greek word for kingfisher. According to Greek legend, Halcyone and her husband were turned into kingfishers by the gods. It was believed that these birds built their nests on the sea during the seven days before the shortest day of the year and then sat on their eggs for the next seven days, and that the gods always ensured calm weather during this period.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
A calm and peaceful period of time. There was an old belief that two weeks of calm weather were to be expected just before and after the winter solstice, when the halcyon bird (a species akin to the kingfisher) calmed the sea in order to lay and hatch her eggs on a floating nest. That idea originated with the Greek myth of Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus, god of the winds, who was married to the king of Thessaly. When the king was drowned at sea, Alcyone threw herself into the water in her grief. However, the gods transformed her into the halcyon bird whom the wind carried to be reunited with her husband.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price