Blow a dandelion, make a wish.

The informant told me that when she was younger (age 4-5), she would pluck a dandelion and blow on it to make a wish. She learned this practice from her friends in preschool. “It was a lot of fun! We would run around looking for dandelions to blow on and fight over them sometimes.

Me: Do you have to get all the dandelion seeds off in one blow?

Informant: I think so!

Me: Do you still play this game?

Informant: Hmm… I think it’s second nature to pick up a dandelion and blow now. You don’t really think about it.

Analysis: This is a common practice in the United States, where dandelions are abundant in the grass. It is similar to blowing out all the candles on a birthday cake. It most likely stems from the belief that if you blow out all the seeds, they carry your wishes and dreams and eventually blossom. It is unclear where the origin of this game came from, however there are variations, such as if you blow a dandelion and all the seeds come off, your lover loves only you. If some seeds remain, he is not loyal. This may have come from the daisy petal-plucking “He loves me, he loves me not”, game.

For the informant, this game or ritual has become so common-place that it is almost innate for her to want to pluck a dandelion and blow the seeds into the wind.