On which finger goes the engagement and wedding ring?

On which finger goes the engagement and wedding ring?

on which hand you put ther engagement ring

Rings and the Fingers They Go On

The tradition of exchanging diamond rings has been a part of weddings across cultures for centuries. This has been the custom for such a long time now that exchange of rings has now become the universal hallmark of declaration of love, commitment and devotion between two people. While the ritual of exchanging rings remains more or less the same in all cultures, nuances of the tradition vary. For example, the hand and the finger for the engagement and the wedding ring is a subject of debate everywhere. Since people of different ethnicities wear them differently, no one knows the ideals of the practice.
The Meaning of Wearing a Ring on the Ring Finger
Before going into the debated part, let’s learn about the meaning behind the tradition of wearing a wedding or engagement ring on the fourth finger. Although romantic, the widely known meaning behind it is untrue. The early Romans believed that a vein from the fourth finger goes straight to our heart. So, they named it the “vein of love”, and by extension the finger to wear wedding or engagement rings on.
Cut to the modern day, we now know that this is factually incorrect, and is therefore only a story. Although the tradition still continues, there is no such vein that connects that concerned finger with the heart. This is probably the reason why in some countries, people choose to wear it on the other hand because there is no real meaning behind wearing it on any specific hand.
The Origin of the Tradition of Exchanging Wedding Rings
People often wonder where this tradition of exchanging rings at weddings originated. There is no known person who can be credited with finding this ritual, but the tradition can be dated back to the Egyptian civilization. About 4,800 years back, it was the Egyptians who came up with the concept that a circle represents endlessness or eternity. Since it has no beginning and no ending, it is the perfect way to symbolize something like love which too is infinite like a circle.
There is another significance to a ring which most people are not aware of. It is the space at the center. That hollow in the middle of a ring is not just empty space, but a gateway to immortal love. That space is believed to stand for pure love, which is unchanging and immortal.

Which Is the Right Hand for the Engagement Ring?
Now everybody knows that the engagement ring is worn on the fourth finger, also called the ring finger, but the right hand to wear it is something that’s up for debate. In Western countries, women wear their engagement rings on the ring finger of their left hand, and that’s a practice that dates back to the early Roman people.

However, that practice is not prevalent everywhere. For example, in countries like India, Germany, Russia, Norway and some others, the engagement ring goes on the right hand. It’s because in these countries, the left is believed to be the sinister side and therefore, anything auspicious is supposed to be worn on the right hand.

The tradition gets more interesting further east. In China, exchange of rings alone is not the hallmark of a wedding ceremony. Traditionally, other goods too are exchanged between the families of the nuptials to commemorate the union. In some places like Sweden and Chile, both men and women get engagement rings which they wear on their right hands till the day of marriage.

The Right Wedding Ring Finger around the World
Similarly, the wedding ring finger too varies across cultures. Out in the West, it’s traditionally worn on the same finger as that of the engagement ring, on the left hand. The rings are exchanged on the day of the wedding and both the partners wear them throughout their marriage. Just at the altar, the engagement ring is tentatively shifted to the ring hand for the ease of the exchange. Wearing the engagement ring on top of the wedding ring has been the custom for centuries. But the modern brides are doing it differently and that’s fast becoming a trend. Some wear their wedding rings in a chain around their neck, while others get the two rings wielded together for wearability. The good news is, one can style their ring the way they like, no judgements on that.

In Indian weddings, flower garlands called “varmalas” are exchanged between the bride and the groom as part of the nuptial exchange. The takeaway from this is that the finger you wear your rings on is not important. It’s the rings that stand for devotion, loyalty and love that mark your union are. Hence, wear them the way you like.

The Promise Ring Finger
It’s not just the wedding and engagement rings that have dedicated fingers. The promise ring too deserves to have a particular finger. Easily mistaken as an engagement ring, a promise ring was first worn on the ring finger in the 16th century when the tradition first started. Back then, it stood for a declaration of love and commitment between partners who are very much in love with one another, but are not ready to take the big leap of marriage.

Today, however, the definition has changed by a wide measure. Today, a promise ring can mean any number of things. It can stand for a promise between two people, it can be a symbol of true friendship or some romantic feelings. While the promise ring still stands to symbolize love and commitment between two people who will one day get married, it has also come to indicate other relationships too.
So, coming back to the question of which ring should it go on, there is no set finger for that. It can be any finger of your choosing. It could be the pinky finger if it’s from a friend. It could be the ring finger if it’s from a romantic partner, or it could go on any finger that you are comfortable wearing it on.

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