Why do we put rings on the ring finger?
Everyone wears their engagement and wedding rings on that one finger. But have you ever thought, why do we put rings on the ring finger?
You’ve probably known since you were a teen that engagement and wedding rings are worn on the finger next to the pinkie on the left hand. But did you ever stop to question, why do we put rings on the ring finger?
Why that finger?
Let’s talk about ring traditions and how they all came about. Why do we put rings on the ring finger? In ancient times, the Romans believed the vein in the fourth finger on the left hand ran directly to the heart. They nicknamed it vena amoris- “vein of love”. It made perfect sense to demonstrate a couple’s love of one another by placing the wedding ring on that finger. It signifies a loving bond. However, science pushed forward and it seems that every finger has a vein that connects to the heart. Alas, all the romantics out there will just have to hold onto that ancient belief!
The ring is on the other hand now…?
Society has evolved and many countries, especially those in northern and central Europe, choose to wear the wedding ring on the right hand instead. Those countries include Norway, Austria, Denmark, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Latvia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Orthodox Christians wear their rings on the right hand as well. Additionally, once upon a time, Greek couples wore their rings on the right too but have since assimilated to western culture, wearing their rings on the left hand.
But what about engagement rings?
We know most western cultures wear engagement rings on the left hand. It’s interesting to note that the European couples mentioned earlier, adorn their left hand with the engagement ring, then switch it over once married. The opposite can be said of our counterparts in Brazil and Colombia – they start on the right, then transfer it the left!
Whew! Who knew there’d be so much history and varying traditions about rings? Whichever finger you choose to wear your ring, the most important thing is the love and commitment you’ve made. Be sure to get everything perfect for your big day.
Check out more wedding tips and hints in our blog today.