Wedding Ring Traditions Around the World

History: 21.09.2022 08:54
Wedding Ring Traditions Around the World
Marriage is a main culture of every society or country and first thing what couples do from all over the world is to wear wedding rings as a symbol of love, binding and commitment. However, the meaning and wearing way of wedding rings varies in different cultures on every point of the world. According to history and researches, it was started by Egyptians and became inseparable part of wedding in the world today.  But there are other explanations that Neanderthal invented first wedding rings. They used to tie grass and twigs around bride’s wrists for expression of loyalty and friendship. 

Wedding Ring Tradition In Egypt

History of wedding rings is based on  the adoption of a tradition between countries after wars. In centuries back, Egyptian pharaohs started using rings represent an eternity. At that time, rings were made from various materials such as metals, bones and reeds. At that time, Egyptians worshipped the sun and the moon. Because of their shape and circle, rings considered to be representation of an eternity. Also, they used to believe that open space of rings represented a gateway to the unknown world. When it comes to love, they used to believe in vena amoris, meaning ‘vein of love’ running from the heart to fourth finger. So it was a symbol of binding pledge between couples. 
At first they started making wedding rings from ivory, hemp, bone and leather. Later on they improved and started using metal.

Engagement Ring Tradition In Rome

Compared to Egyptians, Romans had romantic interpretation about gold wedding rings. Their lavish lifestyle is a sign to this. They interpreted that when woman receives the ring, she would unlock her husband’s heart. At that time a key was a traditional wedding ring at wedding ceremonies. Because it represented wife having possession of her husband and unlocking his heart. 
After Romans defeated Greeks, they adopted this tradition and started using copper and iron rings in various ceremonies, especially wedding ones. 

Wedding Ring Tradition in Turkey

With the influence of western culture, there is a wedding ring tradition in Turkey as well. Couples wear an engagement rings and wedding rings when they get engaged and married. Wedding rings are won on ring finger of left hand after the wedding. Because some believe that fourth finger of left hand runs to the heart. So they do this as a symbol of being close to heart, love and commitment. Many couples prefer to wear both rings on the same finger. Especially women tend to wear stacked rings.
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Early Asia

When it came to wedding traditions, early Asia didn’t have any romantic interpretation about wedding rings. They only considered it as a legal contract and commitment between spouses. It was a representation of a marriage and privacy. They used to seal with puzzle rings that fall apart when you try to remove them. It was used to expose infidelity. Because they can find out if it is removed. 
Indian women receive iron bangles instead of regular rings. They also receive toe rings called ‘bichiya’. But it is under the influence of western culture too.
After many years it has evolved into the meaning and style we all know by western influence. 

North America and England

In this parts of the world, wedding rings mark special milestones throughout marriage. An engagement ring is the first one worn on fourth finger of right hand. After they get married at wedding ceremony, ring moves to ring finger (left hand) and on top of wedding band. It has the same romantic meaning that Egyptians believed: the ring sits closer to the heart. 
The last one is an eternity ring. They give it when first child is born or at the first wedding anniversary. It sits on top of other rings: engagement ring and wedding band. As North America and England have most things in common, wedding ring traditions are mostly the same. 

Wedding Ring Traditions in Catholics, Protestants and Jews.

In some point religion decides how wedding rings should be worn. In Catholic countries and societies, couples wear wedding rings on right hand fingers. Because left hand is considered having dark connotations with the meaning ‘sinister’. It is regarded as evil. But not all of catholics follow this. You may see it in one Catholic country, but not in another one. 
Protestants follow the same rule. But again, not all of them. Because some people like the explanation that a wedding ring sits closer to heart. It depends on the romantic soul of a person. 
In Jewish culture, groom must give something valuable to make the wedding legally valid. So it is not just a gift. 

France and Russia

There are many types and varieties of a wedding rings in Russia and France. They come up with beautiful designs. Russians are very productive about jewelry and wedding rings. They love romantic meaning of wedding rings. They produce ‘triple rolling rings’ that represents couple’s past, present and future, additionally Holy Trinity of Christian Orthodox religion. This ring includes rose gold, yellow gold and white gold. 
France has a family heirloom passed through generations. As we all know from French culture and Eiffel Tower, French people are very romantic. So they love to wear colored gems and rings. 

       Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where do cultures wear wedding rings?
Commonly, most countries wear wedding rings on fourth finger of left hand. But in countries like Germany and Russia, couples wear it on right hand. So cultural traditions determine this practice.
  1. Is there any culture that doesn’t wear wedding rings?
In Chinese tradition, men could have higher status when they had many young female partners. So wedding ring denies this status. This is why modern Chinese men do not wear wedding rings. 
  1. Which culture invented wedding rings?
There are two sources that show Egyptians and Neanderthal as an inventors of a wedding ring. Although, Egyptians are considered as inventors according to historical researches and records. 

Conclusion

Since wedding rings were invented and started spreading to all points of the world, every country made its wedding rings according to their cultures and gave interpretation. There are many interesting practices, especially they have many differences. There is no only one approach when it comes to wearing wedding rings and their meaning. We can see different traditions in every society. Ultimately, personal taste about jewelry plays a role just as religion and culture. 
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