Passengers of a recent flight from China to Malaysia were somewhat puzzled to be joined by three Chinese deities in their air travel.
On board the Xiamen Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur, was Chinese sea goddess Mazu, also known as Matsu, accompanied by her two guardians, Qian Li Yan and Shun Feng Er. The deities are revered by locals as protectors of fishermen and sailors.
According to the Straits Times, the statues of the deities were seated in business class for their trip to Kuala Lumpur’s Thean Hou Temple.
The idols, which arrived on Saturday, July 1, were reportedly transported as part of the China-Malaysia Mazu Cultural Exchange program.
Photos of the gods aboard the plane have been widely shared on Chinese and Malaysian social media over the weekend.
Mazu ancestral temple in Meizhou, the entity which organized the trip, had accorded the statues with the business class seats priced at around 2,000 yuan ($300) each.
Passports were even provided to the statues who were also joined by a delegation of more than 130 people, according to BBC.
The event marked Mazu’s “revisit” to the Maritime Silk Road, with Malaysia being the first destination for the series of trips lined up for the traveling deities.
“This is basic respect we have for the culture of Goddess Mazu,” a spokesperson who received the statues in Malaysia was quoted as saying. “They were also more than 6ft high, so they had to fly business class.”