Wishbone luck has been a popular pastime for centuries.
It symbolizes the promise of good luck.
The saying “Get a lucky break” comes from this tradition.
The bone used for a wishbone is the furcula found in the chest of birds. The furcula bone is fork shaped.
The Pilgrims brought the tradition to America. Going for wishbone luck is something many do especially during Thanksgiving.
A wishbone from a turkey is supposed to be very auspicious.
The most common way to get wishbone luck is as follows:
Dry the wishbone.
Two people put their little finger around each end of the wish bone.
They hold the bone upwards, making it look like an upside-down V. Holding the bone in that position makes sure both parties have an equal chance of getting the longer piece.
They both silently make a wish.
On the count of three, they start pulling until the bone breaks.
The person with the longer piece of bone will have their wish come true.
This is wishbone luck!
Just remember the wish must be kept a secret.
The Merry Thought
Is Old Wishbone Luck Better?
On the British Isle during the 17th century many had a different tradition.
It was called the Merry Thought.
As always two people play for wishbone luck.
One of them was to place the wishbone on her/his nose.
The person with the wishbone had to make a wish that was equally favorable to both of them.
She/he was to shake her/his head concentrating on the wish until the wishbone fell off the nose.
The two parties would then place their little finger around the wishbone and pull until it broke.
The person with the longest piece would take both pieces.
The holder now would place one piece of the bone in each of her/his hands and hide her/his hands behind her/his back.
The other person picks a hand.
If the other person chooses the hand with the longer piece, the promise of the wish come true is passed to that person.
If not the holder gets to keep the wish.
That is how the Merry Thought is done.
It is kind of nice because the person making the wish has to consider something that would be equally pleasant for both of them.
Some places it has been reported (during the 19th century) that young maidens played for wishbone luck to find out who would get married first.
The idea of the wishbone necklace is that the owner must have a very special wish.
Every time she puts on the wishbone necklace she should say her wish out load. The necklace represents a constant reminder of her goal.
The wishbone necklace also represents the promise of her wish coming true if she keeps her faith.
The wishbone necklace is regarded by many as a generous gift.
The giver expresses he/she hopes the receiver will have her wish come true.
This is a gift of wishbone luck!
After the release of the movie the wishbone necklace has increased immensely in popularity.