Winter light up "Nara Ruri-e" (なら瑠璃絵), Feb. 8-14
Blue is my favorite color.
"Ruri" (瑠璃）is the Japanese term meaning "deep blue" or lapis lazuli, which regarded as one of the 7 precious stones in Buddhism.
This term was also used to mean glass products in old times.
The most famous one is "Ruri-hai" (瑠璃杯：deep blue glass cup) brought from the ancient Persha to the ancient capital of Nara through the Silk Road trade rout in the 8th century. (see the picture below)
It is a true miracle that this kind of beautiful ancient glass product to be surviving and existing still today, as an imperial treasure,
guessing how difficult
to store safely (it had been long stored in Todai-ji Temple's wodden "Shoso-in Treasure House")
without being lost on the across the desert as well as ocean journey,
without being broken nor stolen
by any natural disasters, civil wars, World War II, etc, etc...
"Ruri-hai" cup is a small but precious evidence that ancient Nara had good relationship with China and other countries. This kind of international character of Nara is, very unique indeed.
"Nara Ruri-eーHappiness Corridor", is a light up event (Feb. 8--14) in Nara since 2010, and its theme color is blue!
As February is the coldest season, this event was produced to attract more tourists, and to entertain the people who are staying in Nara overnight.
Well, it is real cold.....can be freezing cold, but I think it is worth it to go out.
You can explore Nara in a more serene, sacred atmosphere, unlike busy, touristy atmosphere in daytime or high seasons.
（This picture is from a Japanese HP)
<Event Purpose> (from the official HP)
Corridor is a passageway that surrounds buildings
or courtyards of shrines or temples. Corridor is written “廻” in Japanese and it means “to go around”, which exactly expresses what a corridor is.
“Happiness (Shiawase) expresses bringing the wrinkled (shiwa) hands together(awase). Ancient Japanese people brought their hands together
toward objects that they respect. People in Nara close their eyes, bow, and bring their hands together in their ordinary lives and this has not been changed since the ancient times.
Ruri (azure) came to Japan through the Silk Road and has been regarded as a valuable ore and a sacred color. People in Nara have been attracted to this deep blue of Ruri since the ancient times.
“Happiness Corridor NaraRurie” takes you a beautiful world of Ruri by lighting up the corridors that connects
Nara’s representative sacred sites:
Kasugataisha-shrine, Kohfukuji-temple, and Todaiji-temple.
We hope you can clear your mind at prayer at NaraRurie
and this can bring you happiness.
We also hope for the world peace and the eternal brightness of the stars.
Visitors at NaraRurie will be surrounded by warm beautiful lights.
===Happiness Corridor NaraRurie===
<Story> (From Official HP)
Nara where chilled to the bone, clear cold air clean the mind.
Usually, I pray for myself. But today, I thank to everything besides myself. Pray for people, animals and plants all over the world at Nara. Each small and pure prayer released as powerful and huge intent to the world, then that prayer reassure the earth. There are the starry heavens when I looked up. I’m sure we shine as much as stars, as we prayed from the heart.