“A time of happiness and prosperity. Halcyon in Greek is the word for kingfisher, compounded in hals, “the sea,” and kyo, “to brood on.” The ancient Sicilians believed that the kingfisher laid its eggs and incubated them on the surface of the sea for fourteen days before the winter solstice. During this time the waves of the sea were always unruffled.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.