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Alkyonides Days in Greece, during Christmans 2022

The Alkyonides Days take place in Greece from December 15 to February 15 each year, and most often between January 16-31. During this time, the days are typically sunny, with clear skies and no wind, with high temperatures not typical for the season. 

High pressures cover Greece and South Europe – 25 December 2022

During Alkyionides Days, in the midst of winter, temperatures  climb up to over 16 degrees Celsius  are typical during a week and minimun temperatureς are greater than 4 °C .

Alkyonides Days are named after the bird Alcyone (halcyon) its eggs during this time of year in the cracks of seaside rocks. The allegorical meaning is of the homonymous star called “Alcyone” in the Pleiades constellation. During this period, the star Alcyone culminates its orbit during the evening hours and therefore during the cloudless nights in January, the star is visible in the cluster of the Pleiades, located in the highest part of the celestial dome. As a result of this simple natural event, all the consecutive daysthat the Alcyone star is visible were named ‘Alkyonides’.

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The Myth of Alcyone 

There are several myths surrounding the phenomenon , the most common of which is the story of Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus, the Greek god of the wind. Alcyone was the devoted wife of Ceyx, King of Thessaly in central Greece. Ceyx ruled his kingdom with justice and in peace. Alcyone and Ceyx were admired by gods and mortals alike for their physical beauty and profound love for each other.
Zeus punished the arrogant couple who dared to compare themselves to gods by plunging Ceyx’s ship into the sea and drowning him. Alcyone lamented her loss so much that she then threw herself into the sea and drowned, determined to join her husband in the land of the dead. The gods of Olympus were so profoundly affected by the tragic fate of the couple and their abiding love for one another that Zeus transformed the couple into halcyon birds. Yet the birds were still condemned to give birth in the winter every year. After the waves of the sea crashed into the rocks and destroyed Alcyone’s nest and eggs, Zeus once again felt regret and ordered the winds to stop and the sun to shine for fifteen days in the heart of the winter so that Alcyone could safely lay her eggs.

Aristotle about Alcyonides Days – “History of Animals ” Chapter 8, Book 5th 

More to the next Paper ” Ancient Greek drama as an eyewitness of a specific meteorological phenomenon ¨Indication of stability of the Halcyon Days” 

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