The technical term for this is a circumzenithal arc, or CZA. It’s not a rainbow, which is caused by sunlight and raindrops; rather, it’s a halo caused by flat plate-shaped hexagonal prisms in horizontal orientation. The sunlight is inverted, creating an upside-down curve.
The term I prefer is “a smile in the sky.” I looked up a few hours ago and was pleasantly surprised by this sight.
I see a somewhat sinister-looking face. (No, it’s not a selfie!) What do YOU see?
A “Torii” is a gate that is traditionally found at the entrance of or within a Shintō shrine in Japan. The original intent of this gateway was to symbolically mark the transition from the profane to sacred.
Dating back to 711 A.D., there are an estimated 14,000 torii gates at the Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine in Kyotō. The shrine was established by the Hata family in the 8th century as a dedication to Inari, the god known as the protector of rice cultivation. Inari also furthers prosperity and is worshiped to this day primarily by merchants and tradesmen.
Each richly-colored orange and black gate has been donated and engraved by an individual, company or organization as a way to give thanks for their prosperity and in hope of good economic fortune in the future.
For as low as around ¥400,000, you too can "donate" a small torii. Larger gates cost over ¥1,000,000, but of course it would result in more prosperity in the future.
I'm not sure how many of these beautiful gates I walked through on the peacefully meandering pathways, but as I looked here between two torii tunnels, I wasn’t thinking about money and it definitely felt more sacred than profane.
This is the second episode of the supermoon trilogy, with three supermoons occurring in less than two months - December 3, 2017; January 1, 2018; and January 31, 2018.
Native Americans called this first full moon in January the Wolf Moon, because winter has been in full swing for a while now... and the wolves are hungry out there.
The supermoon on the 31st will feature a total lunar eclipse, which is sometimes called a Blood Moon. It will also be the second full Moon of the month (known as a Blue Moon). So, if you’re interested in seeing a Super Blue Blood Moon, either #MarkYourCalendars to see it yourself or wait for my third post in this supermoon trilogy. #FingersCrossed