Who leaves strange offerings in the streets? | News from Zaragoza in Heraldo.es

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What can the presence of an altar/offering mean in the heart of Zaragoza or on the banks of the Ebro? Santeria? Rituals to attract love or ward off bad luck? Perhaps it was a coincidence or perhaps not, but a few days ago someone made an effort to carefully and carefully set up what appear to be two small altars in different locations in the Aragonese capital. And there could be more, which is not yet known.

One of these bowls was placed on the corner of Calle Mayor and Diego Dormer, at the door of the Mayor brewery, between 1:00 and 2:00 on March 16. Two clay bowls filled with carefully arranged fruit. In one, an apple cut into four pieces, on a bed of fresh lettuce and red onion, with a few euro coins on top, a cigar and several loose cigarettes. In another, more apples accompanied by cut strawberries, grapes, seven red roses and a lipstick of the same color. Around both containers, half a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne and another almost full of Johnnie Walker red label whiskey, a lighter, a red and a white candle.

The other offering was found a few days earlier next to a lamppost in the Macanaz park, on the left bank of the Ebro. Due to its appearance, it can be considered that it was more modest than the other, since the roses had been replaced by red carnations. and fresh fruit for nuts and beans. On this occasion, the offeror opted for half a bottle of José Cuervo tequila, but agreed with the previous one on the cigar, the candles and added matches and a glass.

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His presence raised all kinds of speculation among the people who found them and some concern. However, experts such as Carmen Gallego Ranedo, professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the Department of Psychology and Sociology at the University of Zaragoza, are more inclined to believe that these are offerings made for people or divinities with the aim of warding off the bad luck and attract fortune or love.

"Both follow similar guidelines and have more or less the same origin. In both there are very significant elements: food, tobacco, fire, the light that illuminates (the lighter)," she explains. She adds that when it is placed on the door of a bar, as in one of the cases, it may be because someone wants to remember a happy moment, of love or fun and pays tribute to the local or makes an offering of thanks. In the other case, she is inclined to think that it may be to attract love.

"The food elements have a meaning to ward off bad luck. The red onion in both cases reveals the danger of the moon and is used to ward off the devil. Strawberries and grapes, but more so strawberries, are a tribute to Venus. When many appear, it is related to giving a lot of life", indicates Carmen Gallego, pointing out that it is simply an interpretation and that although anthropology is a science, it is not "exact". Following this scheme, apples would be the symbol of temptation and are used to attract love and money to capture fortune.

For her part, Luz Marina Vélez, a Colombian anthropologist, explains: "A look from anthropology at myths, rites and rituals, shows, as Malinowsky says, that "magic is part of the original endowment of primitive humanity" He adds that the offerings can be a ritual apparently orisha, this is a divinity of the Yoruba religion or Santeria, which has its roots in Africa.

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