Chinese gods fly business class to Malaysia
Flyers on a flight from China's Xiamen to Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur had an unexpected co-passenger: the goddess Mazu and her two companions, Qianliyan and Shunfeng'er.
The deities flew in luxury: on three business class seats worth $307 each.
First things first: Who are these godly passengers?
Mazu/Matsu is a sea goddess, protector of sailors and fishermen, worshipped in southern China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, particularly among the Taoist and Chinese Buddhist communities. Qianliyan is a powerful farsighted being, while Shunfeng'er can hear sounds carried by the wind and assist sailors.
The divine passengers even had special seats and boarding passes
The statues had come from a temple off the Fujian shores, believed to be the birthplace of Mazu.
A delegation of over 130 people escorted them to the Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport. They had "widened" first-row seats and special passports.
They were on their way to Malaysia's Thean Hou Chinese Temple, and to Singapore for religious celebrations organized by China's Meizhou Mazu Ancestor Temple.
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Amused netizens curious about Mazu's flight journey
Netizens on Chinese social media had an amusing time when the deities "checked in" at the airport.
"How did she get through security checks?" wondered Tong Huichun on popular WeChat.
"It's normal for Mazu to give a tour. It's too far away so she's taking a flight. Taking a boat will take too long," said another WeChat user Gong Chang.