ANELLI, da sapere — May 5, 2018 at 4:00 am

8 things to know about wedding ring 




Why is the wedding ring worn right on the ring finger (in many Western countries)? It’s a long, but interesting story. Here’s what you need to know about the wedding ring ♦

1 A magical story. In ancient times, the ring finger was considered magical in many cultures. This is shown still by many names given to this part of the hand, in several languages. In Chinese, the ring finger is 无名指, ie a finger without a name. Even in Sanskrit, the ancient language widespread in India, the name for the ring finger is anamika (unnamed). In the past it was also a widespread belief that from ring finger was departed a vein that went straight to the heart. No coincidence that vein was called amoris vena, that is, in Latin, “vein of love”. Consequently, the wedding ring was worn right on the fourth finger of the left hand.

Immagine russa del primo Novecento, colorata. L'anello è sul dito anulare della mano sinistra
Immagine russa del primo Novecento, colorata. L’anello è sul dito anulare della mano sinistra

2 From the Romans to the Middle Ages. The ring on the ring finger of the left hand was already in vogue at the time of the ancient Romans. The wedding ring, annulus pronubis, it was the beginning of iron and then gold. It was donated by the groom during the engagement ceremony. Only in the Middle Ages, after the year one thousand, was introduced the custom to bless the wedding ring on bride’s finger and insert this in a religious ceremony. In medieval Europe, in the Christian marriage has become a tradition to give the ring. At first it was inserted in sequence on the index finger, middle and ring fingers of the left hand. In the end, the ring was left on the ring finger. But theoretically, in England the choice of the finger is free: the 1549 Prayer Book states that “the ring should be placed on the left hand,” without specifying the finger.

Raffaello Sanzio, La gravida, circa 1505
Raffaello Sanzio, La gravida, circa 1505

3 Vive la difference. In any case, not in all countries the wedding ring is worn on the left hand. In some European countries, the ring is worn on the left hand before marriage, but then transferred to the right during the ceremony. A bride who follows the rite greek-orthodox (in Greece or Russia, for example), wearing the ring on the left hand before the ceremony, then moves it to the right after the cerimony.

Nei Paesi di rito cristiano ortodosso, ma anche alcuni di religione cattolica romana o protestanti, l'anello nuziale è indossato sul dito anulare della mano destra.
Nei Paesi di rito cristiano ortodosso, ma anche alcuni di religione cattolica romana o protestanti, l’anello nuziale è indossato sul dito anulare della mano destra

4 Turn right. In the countries of Orthodox Christian ritual, but also some of the Roman Catholics or Protestants, the wedding ring is worn on the ring finger of the right hand. You must behave in this way if you marry in Serbia, Bulgaria, Armenia, Russia, Greece, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Venezuela.

5 Who goes to the left. The ring on the left hand instead remains in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Australia, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom. Even if somebody wear it on your right hand. Brazil is in the middle: the ring is worn on the right hand until the day of the wedding, when it is moved to the left hand.

Anelli sulla mano sinistra
Anelli sulla mano sinistra

6 Third Way. There are traditions which have a different choice from ring finger: in the ceremonies of the Jewish wedding, the ring is placed on the index finger, although other customs may require the use of the middle finger or thumb. Today many Jews usually move the jewel to the ring finger after the ceremony.

Anello sul dito indice
Anello sul dito indice

7 Unsure. The wedding ring is not part of the traditional Muslim religious marriage. But there who want to wear it or give it away it away as a testimony of love. In this case, in an Islamic country, the ring can be worn on the left hand (in Iran) or on the right ring finger. In Islamic countries it is still very popular to give the engagement ring. Even in India the rings are not a tradition in marriage, even though the practice is spreading, as a token of love. The men generally wear rings on their right hands and left hands on women.
In questo caso, in un paese islamico l’anello può essere indossato sia sulla mano sinistra (in Iran) o sul dito anulare destro
In questo caso, in un paese islamico l’anello può essere indossato sia sulla mano sinistra (in Iran) o sul dito anulare destro

8 Right or Left? Depends: there are good reasons for choosing one or the other hand. On the right is more noticeable, since most people use this hand to move objects or greet. By contrast, the ring on the right  will wear before and, if you have set a stone, there is a risk to bump and ruin the jewel.

Fede nuziale in oro
Fede nuziale in oro
L'origine dello scambio anelli
L’origine dello scambio anelli

L’anello sul dito anulare della mano sinistra era già in voga al tempo degli antichi Romani
L’anello sul dito anulare della mano sinistra era già in voga al tempo degli antichi Romani







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