Description: Two people make wishes while pulling the ends of a chicken or turkey wishbone; the person with the long half of the wishbone will have their wish come true.
Origin: Etruscan, 4th Century BC
This one is said to be Etruscan, which is what many Italians were before they were Romans. The Etruscans believed chickens could tell the future, and they were consulted on all household problems by using a sort of Ouija Board to peck out a message. When one of the birds was killed and eaten, its collarbone was kept and used in rituals.
Later the Romans developed the practice of breaking the wishbone, possibly a consequence of not having enough sacred chickens to keep up with demand. The term to 'get a lucky break' is thought to refer to winning the larger part of a broken wishbone.
Two Young Boys Pulling on Wishbones
Note: These superstitions
were researched and written by Stuart Macfarlane (Website:
and Tom Metcalfe (Website:
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