World

Chinese gods fly business class to Malaysia

06 Jul 2017 | By Gogona Saikia
Chinese deities take a flight 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.

The divine entourage was headed to Malaysia and Singapore on a cultural exchange tour. They will then return to China.

In context: Chinese deities take a flight to Malaysia

06 Jul 2017Chinese gods fly business class to Malaysia

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.
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The divine passengers even had special seats and boarding passes

JourneyThe 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.

ReaxAmused 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.