), a custom observed in the island of Rhodes, in the
month of Boëdromion, the time when the swallows returned. During
that season boys, called χελιδονισταί,
from house to house collecting little gifts, ostensibly for the returning
), and singing a song
which is still extant. (Athen. 8.
; compare Ilgen, Opusc. Phil.
i. p. 164, and
Eustath. ad Odyss.
) It is said to have been introduced by Cleobulus of Lindus,
at a period when the town was in great distress. The chelidonia, which have
sometimes been called a festival, seem to have been nothing but a peculiar
mode of begging, which on the occasion of the return of the swallows was
carried on by boys in the manner stated above. Many analogies may still be
observed in various countries at the various seasons of the year.