Why are wedding rings worn on the left hand?
June 8, 2012
Traditionally the wedding ring is worn on the fourth finger, next to the pinkie finger on the left hand. This is a tradition that has stemmed from the Ancient Egyptian belief that the vein in the left hand ran directly to the heart. It is also believed to be the heart hand; being on the same side of the heart.
Many cultures believe that this finger has magical powers and is considered the healing finger. In ancient times this finger was used to stir medicines and potions. In Chinese culture there is the belief that each finger is representative of your family. The thumb represent your parents, your index finger represents your siblings, your middle finger; the longest finger represents yourself, the pinkie is your children and the ring finger represents your partner and your relationship. Always to be together.
Although it is most common to wear your wedding ring on the left finger, traditions do vary between cultures. For example, Greek Orthodox wear the wedding ring on the left hand before marriage and then after marriage move the ring to their right hand. In Indian culture the left hand is considered auspicious, so if a ring is presented it is worn on the right hand. In Egyptian tradition, interestingly being the first culture to believe marriage as a legal relationship, the bride-to-be wears the ring on her right hand before marriage and then is swapped to the left hand during the ceremony. In Jewish culture it is custom to present something of value to the bride, during the ceremony the groom puts the ring on the index finger of the bride and moves it to the ring finger after the ceremony.
As you can see traditions and beliefs do vary across cultures but fundamentally throughout all cultures the ring symbolises eternal love and infinity.
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