In Latin America the limits between superstition and religion are not really clear, on the one hand we cling passionately to traditions and religious views, but apparently religion is not enough for us. That’s why we pray and knock on wood at the same time…just in case. A little help is always appreciated.
New Year’s Eve may be one of the most stressful days of the year for superstitious people. From the moment the countdown starts you not only have to be prepared to hug all your family, friends, acquaintances, and any strangers that may have crashed your party, but also to eat twelve grapes, put a dollar bill in your shoe, eat lentil soup, throw some rice through the window, go around the block with an empty piece of luggage, light some colored candles, and sweep the floor. And this all happens in less than an hour and on one specific night. Now, you can easily imagine the huge list of superstitions for the rest of the year; there’s one for every occasion.
Besides superstitions, we are famous (or infamous) for seeing Mary (yes, the Virgin Mary) in the most curious and improbable places…in tree stumps, in ultrasounds, on rocks, on pieces of chicken, on fish sticks, on toast…If you don’t believe me, take a look at this blog http://latrola.net/blok/las-apariciones-de-cristo-y-la-virgen-mas-curiosas-fotos . And just when you think that the craze has reached unimaginable dimensions, you discover that the Virgin Mary has even been on Ebay. Some time ago, Mary apparently decided to appear on a piece of cheese on toast, and the proud owners of the now world-renowned toast couldn’t have done anything more financially beneficial, than to offer it on Ebay. In a massive, frenzied rush of bidding, the toast broke the twenty-thousand dollar barrier. In the end Ebay decided to remove the ad, since pranksters and spoof-sellers kept pushing the price up and turned a piece of toast into a 99-million-dollar religious icon.