People who practice various religions around the world have their own ways of dealing with modern flight.
- Many large airports have chapels that are sometimes used by the devout before their flights
- You may see people praying and/or doing the sign of the cross as a plane takes off or lands
- Muslims have all sorts of ways to deal with fasting (and breaking said fast) during Ramadan, when traveling from one time zone to another (it’s pretty fascinating – take a look)
- Airlines have offered meals for those who follow special diets (i.e., Kosher, Halal, etc.) for decades
But sometimes a religion requires just a little bit more, I guess.
In June, 2021, an Ethiopian Airlines plane that regularly serves the New York-Lomé route was hit by lightning just before landing at the airport in Togo’s capital.
From a mechanical point of view, we know that when a plane is struck by lightning, it may sustain some minor damage but will generally remain safe for everyone aboard and can be landed safely (click here to learn more about how they do it).
However, according to Sputnik News France, local voodoo priests of the Hebiesso divinity offered their services to the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) of Togo, saying they would conduct a purification ceremony to exorcise any potential evil that could be surrounding the plane following the lightning strike.
“When lightning strikes, it is our duty, for the sake of people’s security, to identify and purify the area struck by this natural phenomenon,” said Togbé Assiobo Nyagblondjor, president of the country’s traditional priests confederation.
He explained that the ceremony includes, “praying to appease the god Hebiaso, because the thunderbolts indicate that he is angry. We pour liquor, as an offering, and we sprinkle the place with water, invoking the spirits.”
Originally birthed in Benin and Togo, the voodoo religion has over 50 million believers worldwide, including many in the Caribbean, Brazil and, in the U.S., the state of Louisiana.
ANAC director general Colonel Latta Gnama, airport authorities and airline officials attended the voodoo ceremony, and a video of the Boeing’s cleaning was shared on YouTube.
“Everything was done to help them in their task,” said Col. Gnama.
Gnama also confirmed that the damaged airplane was repaired before it was allowed to fly again.
Feature Photo: Pixabay
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary