In France, the wedding ring or alliance is traditionally worn on the ring finger of the left hand. This is why our fourth finger is called the ring finger, in reference to the wedding ring, more commonly known as the alliance or wedding ring. However, customs and traditions regarding which hand and finger to wear the wedding ring or alliance on vary depending on the time period, country, and religion.
As everyone knows, marriage is the most beautiful day in a couple’s life, but it is also an important milestone in the romantic journey of a man and a woman.
To symbolize this significant event, the wedding ring or alliance is the piece of jewelry exchanged during the ceremony to seal the love between two individuals.
This tradition dates back to antiquity, and nowadays, the wedding ceremony with the exchange of rings remains just as important worldwide. As evidence, many people consider the wedding ring or alliance to be the most important and symbolic piece of jewelry in the lives of a man and a woman.
What are the origins of this custom?
This custom is believed to trace back to ancient Greek and Egyptian times when experts believed that a vein directly connected the left ring finger to the heart. It was called the “Vena Amoris” or the vein of love. This is why they placed the alliance on the left ring finger, so that the ring would be directly connected to the heart of the person wearing it.
The second explanation comes from a religious custom dating back to the Middle Ages. During the ceremony, when the groom recited his marriage vows, he would present the ring to his bride at the index finger before saying “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” The recitation naturally ended at the ring finger, where he would then place his bride’s ring.
Are there any other beliefs associated with this custom?
The tradition of wearing the wedding ring on the left ring finger is also a tradition shaped by popular culture.
For example, in Asian belief, each finger of the hand represents an important person in your life. The thumb represents parents (the first element in your life), the index finger represents siblings (the second), the middle finger represents yourself (the central element), and the pinky finger represents children (the smallest). The ring finger, on the other hand, represents your significant other.
Another belief suggests that the ring finger and pinky finger are the two least-used fingers on the hand. Therefore, there is less risk of damaging the ring if it is worn on one of these two fingers, and since the pinky finger is small, the ring would have too little surface to adorn.
Wearing the ring on the left hand is also influenced by popular culture. Since there are far more right-handed people than left-handed people on Earth, there is less chance of the ring getting damaged on the left hand.
Finally, etymologically speaking, the word “annular” is related to the term “ring,” which provides an additional explanation for this custom.
Why is the wedding ring worn on the left ring finger?
In France, as we have seen above, the wedding ring should be worn on the left ring finger. But do you know why? This tradition dates back to antiquity. According to the knowledge of anatomy in antiquity, the Greeks believed that the vein of the left ring finger was the only vein directly connected to the heart; they even called it “Vena amoris,” which translates to the “vein of love.” That’s why the Greeks started wearing a ring on the left ring finger to prove and seal their love, where the vein of love is present.
In Asia, specifically in China, the wedding ring is also worn on the ring finger, but for a different reason. It is believed that each finger of the hand represents a family member. The thumb represents your parents, the index finger represents your siblings, the middle finger represents yourself, and the pinky finger represents your child. As you may have guessed, the ring finger represents your beloved one. To understand this tradition, you can try the following:
– Place your hands together with your fingers vertical.
– Bend your middle fingers (representing yourself) inward.
– Leave the other fingers of each hand touching as they were at the beginning.
– Try to separate your thumbs (representing your parents), and they will easily separate because your parents set you free to live your own life.
– Try to separate your index fingers (representing your siblings), and they will also separate easily because they have grown up with you but will go on to live their own lives and start their own families.
– Try to separate your pinky fingers (representing your children), and the result will be the same, as you will also set them free when they grow up to live their lives.
– Finally, try to separate your ring fingers (representing your partner). Is it difficult? That’s normal because you are bound by a unique bond, just like the two ring fingers. A beautiful metaphor!
Is the wedding ring worn on the left hand in all countries?
You may not know this, but in other countries, the wedding ring is not worn on the left ring finger but on the right ring finger, as in Spain, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Russia, or Germany.
Why? There are many explanations and hypotheses, and it’s difficult to determine what’s true and what’s not. However, many believe that it is related to the religious traditions of the country, such as in Germany where Catholics wear the wedding ring on the left and Protestants on the right.
In conclusion, in France, the wedding ring is most often worn on the left ring finger due to tradition. As we have seen previously, this is not the case for all countries.
But in the end, the most important thing when giving a wedding ring or engagement ring is to seal your commitment and unconditional love for your beloved. So, if you want to offer a unique ring representing your union, don’t hesitate to consult our Celinni wedding rings and engagement rings that will seal your promise of fidelity and loyalty.
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