Chief pa­gan blesses Ice­landic jet

Post Link: http://www.mbl.is/english/nature_and_travel/2015/03/27/chief_pagan_blesses_icelandic_jet/

video link here: http://www.mbl.is/frettir/sjonvarp/161847/

An­cient and mod­ern Ice­land met yes­ter­day evening at Reyk­javik Airport, as Ice­landic low-cost air­line WOWair held a nam­ing cer­e­mony for one of two brand-new Air­bus A321 air­craft pur­chased by the air­line. The guests of ho­n­our at the event were Dor­rit Mous­saief, First Lady of Ice­land, and Hilmar Örn Hilmars­son, high priest of the Ice­landic neo-pa­gan re­li­gious as­so­ci­a­tion, Ásatrúar­félagið.

Air­craft greeted with cheers

An ex­cited hud­dle of in­vited guests looked on as the shin­ing new Air­bus, re­splen­dent in WOWair’s trade­mark pur­ple, came in to land at Reyk­javik Air­port just be­fore 6pm yes­ter­day. WOWair had laid on drinks and re­fresh­ments in a nearby hangar out of the bit­ing cold.

Tourism vi­tal for Ice­land

Founder and CEO of WOWair, Skúli Mo­gensen, gave a rous­ing speech on the steps up to his air­line’s new jet, cel­e­brat­ing the air­line’s suc­cess in the few years since it was set up and set­ting out the ex­cit­ing prospects for the fu­ture. His words took a slightly more con­tro­ver­sial turn as he voiced some crit­i­cism of the cur­rent gov­ern­men­t’s over-em­pha­sis on heavy in­dus­try and lack of recog­ni­tion of how im­por­tant tourism is for the na­tion.

First Lady did the ho­n­ours

Fes­tiv­i­ties con­tin­ued with the for­mal nam­ing of the air­craft. Dor­rit Mous­saief gave a char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally glam­orous and bub­bly per­for­mance as she un­veiled the air­craft’s name, Freyja. In Norse mythol­ogy, Freyja is the god­dess of love, sex­u­al­ity and fer­til­ity. The sec­ond of WOWair’s new Air­buses is ex­pected this week­end and will be called Óðinn, an­other widely at­tested god in Norse mythol­ogy.

Pa­gan bless­ing

In keep­ing with this ref­er­ence to an­cient Norse be­liefs, Hilmar Örn Hilmars­son, chief re­li­gious of­fi­cial of the Ice­landic neo-pa­gans, was then called upon to bless the new air­craft by means of a short cer­e­mony in­volv­ing pour­ing beer out of a horn onto the tar­mac un­der the plane. Guests were then in­vited to climb the steps and view the in­te­rior of WOWair’s lat­est ac­qui­si­tion.

Freyja will be put to work straight away and is sched­uled to op­er­ate WOWair’s in­au­gural flight to Boston, de­part­ing from Ke­flavík In­ter­na­tional Air­port at 4pm to­day.

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