The Thanksgiving Wishbone tradition is a fun way to add excitement to your holiday meal. This tradition dates back to the ancient Egyptians, who would use the bones of their slaughtered animals to make good luck charms.
In medieval England, the wishing bone was used as a talisman to ward off evil spirits. Today, the tradition has evolved into a fun game that can be enjoyed by all ages. To play, simply have each person break off a piece of the wishbone.
Each side of the wishbone is extracted from the turkey carcass, when two individuals split it up. As soon as the main meal has been eaten, they break the bone further to make a wish.
Whoever breaks off the larger part of the wishbone will have their wish granted, according to the tradition.
The Etruscans, a civilization in Ancient Italy (around 800 BCE), conducted a ritual involving bird divination.
While the Etruscans were writing on flags, the chickens were allowed to peck at the signs on the ground to synthesize information about the future. When a chicken was killed, they would lay its wishbone in the sun for people to touch it and to continue to have its magical powers.
The wishbone became part of history because those who touched the wishbone made wishes. Hence, the Romans copied many of the Etruscan customs, such as those surrounding the wishbone.
Rather than hoping on bones on the ground, the Romans broke off the bigger portion of the bone for their desire. This tradition was passed to the British Isles, and the wishbone tradition then spread further.