A real treat as a kid was to be lucky enough to be chosen to pull the wishbone of the turkey on Thanksgiving Day. After all, only two people can compete in this wishing competition. The winner, of course, comes away with the bigger piece and gets their wish granted. But where did this tradition begin?
“Ever wonder where the wishbone tradition came from? Well here’s a little trivia for your Thanksgiving table: It all started with the ancient Romans, who pulled apart chicken clavicles—formally know as the bird’s furcula—in hopes of achieving good fortune. It was believed that the birds were oracles that could predict the future and preserving this bone would allow people access to the chicken’s mystical powers even after eating it. According to legend, the custom evolved into breaking the bone into two because of good old fashioned supply and demand; there simply weren’t enough wishbones to go around. The solution? Groups of two began to wish on the same bone and then snap the clavicle in half. The person who got the bigger half was deemed the winner and granted their wish.” —(From realsimple.com)
Apparently, this tradition was not used on the turkey until the Pilgrims arrived from England to Plymouth, Massachusetts where turkeys were abundant. The term “wishbone” came to be after President Lincoln named Thanksgiving a federal holiday in 1863.
Interesting! Well some things never change. We can still get enjoyment from ripping a slippery wishbone in half and hoping that our wishes will come true. Sort of like an extra birthday wish… Good-luck at getting the bigger piece. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day.