Welcome to week 27 of 52 Wedding Tradition/Rituals in 52 Weeks,
Have you ever asked yourself why the wedding ring is placed on the third finger of the left hand?
We recently pondered the same question and in response we decided to go in search of where this idea may have originated. As you can imagine there were many interpretations and we have outlined our favourite 3 for you.
In Western Culture it was thought to originate from the Greek physicians in the third century B.C where they were misled to believe that a vein of blood ran from the third finger of the left hand straight to the heart. A slightly misguided interpretation of the human anatomy yes, but you can understand their logic of placing the ring that symbolises love and commitment on the part of the body that was thought to be in direct connection to the heart. In fact this vein was later named ‘vena amori’ or vein of love.
The Chinese have a beautiful interpretation and we have outlined this below showing the representation of each finger :
Thumb represents your parents
Index finger represents your siblings
Middle finger represents your self
Ring finger represents your life partner
Little finger represents children
Now this idea is not based solely on just guessing what each finger may represent, there is actually a really sweet theory behind it.
Basically, if you place your palms together in front of you and bend your middle fingers down so that they are knuckle to knuckle (see pic) the significance becomes clear.
Your thumbs (which represent your parents) are easily separated as you are separated from them as you move off to marry.
Your index finger (which represents your siblings) is also easily separated signifying how you will separate from them in your life, creating your own families.
Your middle finger - is removed as it represents yourself.
Your little finger (representing your future children) is easily parted also representing that they too are not with you forever.
If you try however to separate your ring fingers (representing your life partner) You cannot. Why? because you are tied together as one for eternity. The sentiment behind this theory is beautiful in that the inability to separate these two fingers is exactly where the rings should be placed reminding us of this everlasting unbreakable bond.
A final theory (culture unknown) puts forward the idea that the third finger cannot be held out alone, it needs the support of both the middle and little fingers on either side . So what does this signify, well it gives the ring finger union, support and protection thus representing a happy and health marriage and life together..
The Wedding Gurus xx