With Halloween nearly upon us and Christmas decor already appearing in shop windows, it’s a sign that Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And no festive holiday gathering would be complete without the breaking of the wishbone!
While today it is associated with 4th Thursday in November, thanks to the traditional Turkey served on Thanksgiving, the breaking of the wishbone was in fact a custom that began with the Etruscans – a civilization from ancient Italy. Interestingly, this Etruscan custom began with the collar bones of chickens. When a sacred fowl was killed, the bird’s collarbone, also known as clavicle, was dried in the sun. An Etruscan would pick up the bone and stroke it while making a wish, giving this animal bone the famous nickname “wishbone.”
The Romans, which assimilated the Etruscan land into the Roman Republic by the 4th century BC, brought the wishbone custom to England – where it was adapted to include the breaking of the dried collarbone. Held between the fingers of two people and broken, the person left with the larger portion of the wishbone was granted a wish.
By the time the Pilgrims reached the New World, the breaking of the wishbone was a well-established British tradition. As the wild turkeys which populated the northeastern shores of America had collarbones similar to those of chickens, the Pilgrims adapted the wishbone tradition to the turkey – solidifying it as part of the Thanksgiving festivities we celebrate today.
In honor of this long-standing tradition, Jewlr has released two brand new wishbone designs for you to pick from! While there won’t be any breaking of this precious metal replica, it stands as a symbolic reminder that you can make your own wishes come true with perseverance.
Is the breaking of the wishbone one of your holiday traditions? Tell us below!