Blog May 11, 2023

When You Wish Upon A Star: Wishes Do Come True!

When You Wish Upon A Star: Wishes Do Come True!

People have been conditioned to make a wish. People make wishes on New Year’s Eve, on Christmas Day, and when blowing the candle on their birthday cake. Most people could not resist making a wish before throwing a penny into a fountain. There are many practices of making a wish, including making a wish upon a star.

But where did this practice come from? No one knows for sure, but the tradition lingers to this very day, even when majority of the people are wired and surrounded by all sorts of modern gadgets and most things are done electronically.

Wishing on shooting stars may have originated from Ptolemy, who said that the stars were a sign that the Gods were listening to our wishes. The tradition of making a wish by blowing out the candles on a birthday cake originates with the ancient Greeks.

How to make a wish upon a star

Is there a science on making a wish? Nope, there isn’t. What’s important is that you think of the things you wish for. Close your eyes and think of the things that you fervently want, a thing that you could not live without or something that is almost impossible for you to acquire. Pick one or the two most important items from your mental list. Open you eyes and look up at the sky and find the brightest star, because finding a shooting star is not that easy. Close your eyes again and make your wish. Depending on where you are located, you might be making your wish on Venus, Polaris (Northern Star), the Southern Cross, or Sirius.

Traditional belief

It could be that the tradition of making a wish upon a (shooting) star came about because these are beautiful and very rare. Since stars in the ancient times have been associated with divine powers. You’d probably encountered the phrase, looking or reading the stars, an evidence of man’s fascination with the heavens and its relation to angels, faith and prayers.

The truth is shooting stars are not stars but meteors and it’s the glowing trail of a meteoroid or a piece of space debris that burns as soon as it enters the earth’s atmosphere. And it is this phenomenon that makes the shooting star very attractive, ideal and considered as a lucky item for making a wish. And maybe it is also because of the fact that it is actually a challenge to make a wish on a shooting star since it appears for just a fleeting moment. You’ll be startled when you actually see one and before you could think of your wish, it’s gone.


It is believed that the act of wishing on a shooting star started during the time of Greek astronomer Ptolemy, around 127 AD to 151 AD. He wrote that sometimes the gods also got bored and curious and would occasionally peer down on earth. And in so doing, some stars slipped through the gap between the spheres and became visible as falling or shooting stars. He further added that the gods were more receptive to wishes made during times like those.

Whether it is true or just a myth, maybe tonight you would look up at the sky and say, Star light, star bright, the first star as see tonight, I wish I may or simply enjoy the beauty of the twinkling stars above, if you are lucky.

Part of pop culture ever since a cartoon cricket sang about it in Pinocchio (1940), wishing upon a star is a familiar habit for those seeking a little celestial intervention. But like so many superstitions, its historical origins are hazy. Astronomers will be irked right off the bat: the tradition relates to wishing on “falling stars,” which of course are not starts at all, but meteors going out in a blaze of glory as they enter earth’s atmosphere. In the 2nd century AD, Greek astronomer Ptolemy presented the dubious theory that shooting stars flew through the gap between cosmic spheres when the gods pried them apart to peek down at the activities of mortals on earth. In later Christian tradition, they were thought to represent rising or falling souls or angels. In any case, wishing on them amounted to trying to tap into the mystical to improve your fortunes through a fleeting, fantastic phenomenon. The tradition has been strengthened in the modern era, when urban light pollution made shooting star sightings more difficult and wish opportunities more precious. But if you consider that the granddaddies of those cute shooting stars have—and still can—spell doomsday for planets in their path, you might consider wishing that they pass by harmlessly. The dinosaurs probably never saw it coming…………

Some traditions perceive shooting stars as both good and bad. The Greeks believed the stars were rising or falling human souls, and Jews and Christians believed in falling angels or devils. On the other side of the world, different Indigenous Australian groups perceived meteors as either good — associated with benevolent spirits — or bad — bringing evil magic and war. When Halley ’s Comet appeared in the sky in 1066, it was a good omen for the Normans but bad for the last Anglo-Saxon king of England. And Ptolemy wrote that shooting stars were evidence of the gods peering down to earth and lights falling through the cracks, but it is uncertain whether being spied on by the gods is a good or a bad thing.

These days, witnessing a shooting star is considered lucky and an opportunity to wish for your heart’s desire.

Other Wishing which can be done

Dandelions, wishbones, shooting stars, and candles are just a few ways people make wishes. Many people make wishes on them, because that’s what they were told to do, but how did these superstitions start?

Shooting stars

When someone sees a shooting star they may point and yell, “Look! A shooting star!,” close their eyes, and make a wish on it. According to Wish Upon a Star Travel Blog . The Europeans believed the gods would occasionally peer down, and when they moved the sky, a star would escape and fall down. The Greeks, however, believed that the stars represented falling human souls, and it was lucky to make a wish on them.


Candles have always been a tradition when it comes to birthdays and other special occasions, but there is a reason for them. eHow Food said Greeks baked cakes for Artemis, the god of the moon, where a cake represents a moon (when round) and a candle represents the light of life. The Europeans and especially the Germans were skilled candle makers and put a big candle in the middle of a cake and burned it all day long to ward off evil spirits. When the candle is blown out and a wish is made, the smoke is said to take the wish up to heaven.


Making wishes on dandelions dates back to Celts and the French. Dandelion comes from a French word meaning “lion’s tooth” according to My Flower. Dandelions used to be used for medical purposes to treat infections and diseases. Because they thought this was a magical herb, people began making wishes on them when the dandelions become gray and white. They are also considered lucky if a bride carries them in her bouquet.

Wishing fountains

The Wishing Fountain states that the tradition all started with the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. In 19 B.C., the Roman soldiers were searching for some water source, and legend has it they ended up at the Trevi Fountain, which was not as glorious as it is now. They used that as their water source for 400 years and drinking from the fountain was supposed to give people good fortune. Now, the tradition is said that throwing a coin in the fountain will cause the same thing. This tradition spread to thousands of fountains around the world and is continued today.


Wishbones are usually a Thanksgiving or Christmas tradition where two people pull on each end of the wishbone of a turkey, and the one who gets the bigger half supposedly makes a wish that comes true. The Encyclopedia of Superstition said the origin is not completely known, but it has something to do with the importance of poultry. These animals were thought to have magical powers because roosters crowed when the sun rose, and hens clucked when they had layed eggs. Their magic supposedly spread through their bones. The wishbone or proper name fercula was chosen because it is the symbol of fertility. Wishbones continue to be a tradition even today.

There are more ways of making wishes like 11:11 and eyelashes. Wishes are things people due from the age of five to the age of 100 and continue throughout generations.

Back to the stars

Although there are two schools of thought, the popular nursery rhyme suggests the ‘first star I see tonight’ is the lucky one rather than a falling star. If you do see a star, there are ways to ensure your wish is a sure thing: in Chile you pick up a stone at the same time, or in the Philippines tie a knot in your hanky.

The practice of wishing on a star is now ensconced in an iconic song. ‘When you wish upon a Star’ was first written for the Disney cartoon Pinocchio in 1940, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song, before becoming the theme tune for the Disney Corporation, and now a regular Christmas song in Scandinavia and Japan.

“When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you”

There is no clear explanation why the fear and bad omens of shooting stars has disappeared from our culture, perhaps this is due to our increased scientific understanding of our night sky, and now we celebrate rather than fear any falling space debris.

Shooting stars began as both a good and bad signal in the sky and it is unclear why we now only focus on the positive. But now this belief is so heavily ingrained into popular culture, it appears wishing on a star is a happy and hopeful superstition which is here to stay.

“Star light, star bright,”


Star light, star bright,

First star I see tonight,

I wish I may, I wish I might,

Have this wish I wish tonight.

“When You Wish Upon a Star”

Disney…..sung by Jimmy Cricket 

When you wish upon a star

Makes no difference who you are

Anything your heart desires

Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream

No request is too extreme

When you wish upon a star

As dreamers do

Fate is kind

She brings to those who love

The sweet fulfillment of

Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue

Fate steps in and sees you through

When you wish upon a star

Your dreams come true!