An engagement ring is a symbol of one’s love, commitment and devotion to each other. Whether we are engaged or not, it is a common enough knowledge that the engagement ring is always to be worn on the fourth finger of the left hand. But have we ever wondered as to why this tradition is prevalent. If like us, you too are intrigued to know more then read on to know about the traditions and customs associated with wearing the engagement ring.
The Chinese theory
The Chinese have a very interesting theory regarding the wearing of the engagement ring on the fourth finger which seems quite convincing. According to this theory, every finger represents a significant relation of our life. Thus our thumb represents our parents, the index finger symbolizes our siblings, the middle finger stands for us and the little finger represents our children. It is the fourth finger which symbolizes our life partner, thus it is natural that the engagement ring should be worn on the fourth finger to signify the deep connection between the person and their spouse.
Most cultures encourage the wearing of engagement ring on the fourth finger. According to legends, a vein from the fourth finger of our left hand is directly connected to the heart. Hence it is most appropriate that the engagement ring which is a symbol of the couples love for each other should be worn on this finger. This theory about “the vein of love” is quite familiar with Bollywood movie goers and a succinct explanation of this theory was given in the movie DDLJ.
The above explanations might seem romantic and bereft of reason to some but there is a practical aspect to it which seems quite plausible and easy to believe. The right hand is used for a lot of activities and wearing a ring on the right finger might hamper with our activities and the delicate ring might also get damaged in the process. Further, since the right hand is always engaged in doing work, the ring would be less visible to others. Therefore, wearing the ring on the left hand is a smart thing as it will allow you to display your precious jewel for others to see.
However, not all cultures endorse wearing of the engagement ring on the fourth finger of the left hand. While countries like UK, US, Australia, Canada, Italy and France, encourage the wearers to wear the engagement ring on the left hand, Eastern European countries and even Orthodox Christians wear it on the right hand. In the Muslim community it does not matter as there is no set tradition regarding the engagement ring. Even among Indians, it is seen that some communities wear the ring on the right hand as the right hand is considered more auspicious. In some countries, the ring is worn on the right hand as well as it is regarded as the dominant one thus symbolizing the strength between a husband and wife.
Since an engagement ring represents one’s love, it is necessary that one knows why it is worn in a certain manner. Now that you know it, we are sure you must be feeling like a hopeless romantic and would be dying to make your love a success.