Why do people break wishbones? The myth of the wishbone has its origins in ancient Etruscan society and its fascination with chickens. In ancient Etruria, chickens were used to divine omens, answer questions, and bring luck; these practices were picked up and adapted by the Romans then spread around the Empire. Europeans extended the wishbone tradition when they started using turkeys and, over time, the wishbone myth and superstition became part of modern holiday traditions. When breaking a wishbone, rules apply, of course, but if you've got the magic touch, you may end up catching a lucky break.