Ever Wondered Why Wedding Ring Is Worn On 4th Finger ? Here’s Why.
The exchanging of rings is one of the most touching and sacred part of wedding ceremony. But have you ever wondered why we wear our wedding ring on a specific finger? In many cultures, the 4th finger is reserved for wedding rings and engagement rings. But the question is – WHY?
There are a lot of different historic and symbolic theories and explanations. But the Chinese have given a beautiful and very convincing theory as to why the wedding ring should go on the fourth finger.
WHERE DID THE TRADITION OF WEARING WEDDING RINGS START FROM?
The tradition of exchanging wedding rings is dated back to ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, and ancient Rome. These cultures all chose to wear their wedding rings on their fourth finger of their left hands because they believed there was a vein in this finger that went directly to the heart.
Not surprisingly, the heart was considered the emotional center of the body. The vein that supposedly went from the fourth finger to the heart was even dubbed the vena amoris by ancient Romans (Latin for the “vein of love”).
Unfortunately, we now know that this ancient belief is not true — there is no vein that runs from our ring fingers to our hearts.
According to scientific evidence this myth is not true. Although, people still like to believe it is.
THE AMERICAN THEORY
Though people have been wearing wedding rings on the ring finger since a long time, the Americans had their own reason for wearing it! They soon realized that the finger that is used and injured the most is the middle one. And thus, if you wear the ring on the middle finger, it will get damaged frequently.
The fourth finger of the left hand is the second least used finger after the pinky/little finger. And since, the finger is less prone to injury, it is safe to wear an expensive piece of jewelry on the fourth finger. The reason the pinky finger was rejected was because it was too small for the ring!
CHINESE EXPLANATION FOR A WEDDING RING’S FINGER
On the other side of the world, the Chinese culture developed a theory, which is really interesting. According to the Chinese, there is a reason why the wedding ring is designated for the fourth finger. They think that each finger represents a different relationship. Below is each finger and who they stand for according to Chinese belief.
1. Your thumb represents your parents.
2. Your index finger represents your siblings
3. Your middle finger represents yourself.
4. Your fourth finger represents your life partner
5. The little finger represents your children.
Hold your thumbs, index fingers, fourth fingers and pinky fingers tip to tip, and bend your middle fingers and hold them joint to joint like this:
- Try separating your thumbs (parents) – They will open.
- This is because you are not destined to live with your parents for the rest of your lives.
- Try separating your index fingers (siblings) – They will open
- Because your brothers and sisters will have to live their own separate lives and have their own families.
- Try separating your pinky fingers (children) – They will open
Because your children will grow up, get married and settle down on their own terms.
Now, try to separate your fourth fingers, which represent your spouse.
You’ll be surprised to find you just cannot separate them, because the love of your life and you are meant to be together for all their lives, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, forever.
Aren’t these facts fascinating?
While most people wear the ring on the fourth finger of the left hand, there are a few who don’t wear the wedding ring on the left hand. All these things depend on the traditions that you follow and your personal choice.