According to civilizations all around the world today, the ring finger is the fourth one on the hand (between the middle and little one), and this is where wedding rings are supposed to be worn. There are several reasons behind this custom, and most of them are mystical and spiritual in nature. Many cultures believe this finger to be the precursor for a lot of magical power and spiritual energy in human beings.
This is a custom that has been followed since the early 11th century, and its origins can be traced to certain European countries. Today, almost every country and religion in the world follows the same.
Right or Left?
The biggest confusion about the issue arises when one sees differences in the choice of finger between various countries. While some believe that the left is most appropriate, some believe that the right one is better. There is a belief that states that there is a vein in the left-handed one that runs directly to the heart. This vein is also known as the Vena amoris, or the 'Vein of Love', and this is the single biggest reason for people choosing to wear their ringlets on their left side.
In some countries, the wedding and engagement ritual differs. While the couple wears the band on the left after their engagement, they transfer it to the right upon getting married. Some countries that follow this custom are Germany, Norway, Bulgaria, Poland, and Russia. These differences in customs and beliefs exist all around the world.
The reason for wearing the band on the right hand in some countries arises from the belief that the left hand signifies the evil energies in a human being, while the right hand signifies goodness. This is a slightly warped belief, which would inevitably assert that all left-handed people are evil. Nevertheless, this custom is believed and followed in countries like India, Spain, Venezuela, and Chile. Conservative Jews in east European countries also follow this along with Catholics in Austria and the Netherlands.
Origin of the Belief
- In ancient England, when the Church had just started performing official marriages, the procedure that they used there led to the rise of this belief.
- The groom would first place the ring on the thumb, and recite the prayer 'In the name of the Father'.
- Then, he would place it on the index finger, and recite the prayer 'In the name of the Son'.
- Then, he would place it on the middle one, and recite the prayer 'And of the Holy Ghost'.
- Finally, he would place it on the fourth one with an 'Amen'.
- This is how the custom came into existence, and any story that we hear after this is merely a deviation from the real source.
A wedding between two people is a life-long commitment, and one that needs to be honored, no matter what. Along with the many traditions that accompany this sacred bonding, the act of wearing rings on the ring finger is something that will never change.