Priests in the Russian city of Tver took to the skies this week to save local citizens from drunken craziness by air-bombing the town with holy water.
Clergymen poured out 70 liters’ worth of sacred liquid from a large chalice through the open door of a legacy green Antonov An-2plane on Wednesday, in an escalation of their battle against “drinking” and “fornication,” local outlet Tvernews reported.
Local television showed a priest strapped into a harness to keep him from accidentally falling from the airplane while tipping gallon after gallon onto the city below.
The move marks just the latest effort to promote sobriety in Russia, a country whose longstanding national love affair with vodka has recently shown signs of ebbing in the face of tightening state liquor laws aimed at improving the country’s health.
The priests’ airborne assault on alcoholism in Tver fell on Russia’s Sobriety Day, a non-official holiday on Sept. 11 with roots dating back to Tsarist times a century ago.
The priests have been flying over Tver on Sobriety Day every year since 2006. Previously, they’ve limited their aerial interventions to prayer. This year, they added holy water bombardment for extra firepower.