Why Do You Make a Wish on Wishbones?

Elmira | 11 - 09 - 2020
make a wish on wishbones

Wishbones are considered a symbol of luck and the wishbone-cracking tradition has been followed every Thanksgiving and Christmas. In Wishbone tradition, two people hold the bone piece by making wishes. Both will pull the bone until it breaks into two pieces. The person who holds the longer piece may have good fortune. Both persons’ wishes will come true if the bone cracked evenly in half.

What’s a Wishbone?

Wishbones are V-shaped or weirdly-shaped bones that have two clavicles known as the furcula. You can find it right between the breast and neck of a bird.

Do You Even Know Where It Comes From?

Many historians and archaeologists say the Etruscans used to consume chicken regularly. Their ancient civilization had a belief that birds can predict the future. So they had birds (either alive or dead) particularly chicken during their rituals.

Can One Person Break a Wishbone?
  • A. Yes
  • B. No

Romans adopted the Etruscan culture. Etruscans often kept the bone to have good fortune or a wish to be granted whereas Roman followed the same custom with a slight change. They began to practice the tradition by breaking the bone. The idea of breaking the bone was created so that it would let two persons wish upon a bone.

While Romans traveled through Europe they adopted this tradition and they passed the wishbone culture to the English. Later, it was followed by the American people and carried it over to Plymouth Rock. The tradition of breaking a turkey wishbone was introduced by the Pilgrim and believed wishbone was first invented in the United States in the middle of the 1800s. In America, wishbone plays a major role during Thanksgiving dinners.

How to make a wishbone? Usually, the wishbone needs to be dried for a few days until it becomes brittle.

What to do with a wishbone after you make a wish? A few people wear wishbone as an ornament or jewelry because they want to carry the good luck charm with them. Some people carry it in their pockets. Unbroken wishbone can offer good luck. If it is broken then your wish will come true, which is why the origin of the term indicates “getting your lucky break.” If you want to have your wish to be granted you must break the wishbone.

A few scientists from the University of Michigan researched 3D model wishbones in 2014 to find the best ways of winning. Rachael Schmedlen, Ph.D., a biomedical engineering lecturer described in a Michigan Engineering YouTube video that “My hope is that this shows everyone that science and technology can be used in every type of family rivalry and every type of family tradition.”

Next time you eat a chicken, make a wish while breaking it into half.

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