The Legend of the Wishbone

As a kid, did you always fight over the turkey wishbone so you could pull it apart and make a wish? This common Thanksgiving tradition has a story behind it.

What is the wishbone?

The v-shaped bone rests over the breastbone of a bird, like the collarbone in a human. It is most commonly found in the chicken and turkey. When one person pulls on each side of the bone, it will break and one piece will usually be bigger.

Why do we break the wishbone?

The tradition follows the idea that whomever gets the bigger piece of the bone gets “the lucky break,” or a wish that will come true. The ancient belief was that chickens were fortune tellers, and wishing on their clavicle would bring good luck. Goose bones were also used in Medieval Europe because people thought geese had supernatural healing powers. When the goose was eaten, the oldest person kept the breast bone and dried it overnight. The color of the wishbone was believed to predict how severe their winter would be. The Pilgrims brought this belief with them and transferred the idea to the Thanksgiving turkey. Today, it’s a fun Thanksgiving tradition considered to bring good luck and happiness.

The wishbone isn’t the only good thing about the turkey. The bird is a great source of protein and iron to keep your body strong. It’s also lower in fat than any other meat!

Don’t worry if you don’t win the bigger half. Dr. Stewart can still grant your wish of a great smile. His preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatments can give you the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve been hoping for. Contact our dental office in Livonia, MI at 734.425.4400 to make your dream smile come true. We welcome families from the surrounding areas of Farmington, Dearborn, Redford, and other nearby communities.