Wedding rings have been a significant symbol of love, commitment, and an everlasting bond between couples for thousands of years. Traditionally, wedding rings are worn on the left hand, but the reasons for this tradition may vary depending on culture, religion, or beliefs.
In some cultures, the left hand is considered to be the hand of God or purity. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, wedding rings are traditionally worn on the right hand, which is also the case in other Christian denominations. Conversely, in traditional Asian marriage customs, the hand with the left ring is the hand of God. It is believed that the left hand represents purity, which is why it is not used to touch or handle anything intimate. This custom is still practiced today in India and Southeast Asia.
Moreover, some men in male-female marriages choose to wear their wedding bands on the right hand, while some men who have chosen to live together without matrimony have worn rings on both hands. Some couples have even split the wedding rings between their left and right hand, symbolizing a monogamous commitment to each other.
One of the reasons why wedding rings are traditionally worn on the left hand is that it is more dominant. In many cultures and religions, the left hand is associated with weakness and femininity, while the right hand is the symbol of strength and masculinity. For this reason, in some Eastern Orthodox cultures, men should not be right-handed. A growing trend in some Christian traditions is to wear wedding rings on the right hand, as it is seen as being more associated with the masculine, therefore being an appropriate marker of the couple’s commitment.
Association with the Devil Hand
The left hand has also been associated with the Devil, particularly in Western culture. In the Middle Ages, the Devil’s right hand was associated with honesty and truth, and the Devil’s left hand with deceit and lying. This belief is still held today, mainly in Western culture. This means that, in the context of the wedding ceremony, it would be considered disrespectful for the groom to shake the bride’s hand with his left hand.
Moreover, in some religious traditions such as the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church, the left hand is not permitted to touch or be moved. This belief is mainly associated with the Jewish custom of salting, which has been interpreted as a sign of consecration or touching something to bless it. In some sects of Islam, the left hand is not permitted to be used at all. Instead, the left elbow is touched first, which then must be followed by the whole hand.
The left hand has also been associated with witchcraft and the Devil’s work. In the Middle Ages, during a ceremony where a child was baptized, the child’s left hand was dipped in the font and then anointed with a crucifix, symbolizing that the child’s sins would be washed away with the blood of Jesus. By contrast, the right hand was dipped in the font and the child was given the blessing of the cross as a sign of God’s love and forgiveness.
Wedding ring: Which hand is correct?
The choice of wedding ring is a personal one, and it is not restricted to diamonds. Couples can choose from a wide range of materials and designs, including opals, rubies, aventurine, garnets, sapphire, turquoise, and even amethyst stones. Some couples may choose to get their engagement ring and wedding band combined into one ring, which may be placed on either the left or right hand.
While the choice of wedding ring is important, it is essential to keep in mind that it is a symbol of love, commitment, and an everlasting bond with your partner. If you wish to avoid any confusion when people ask which is your wedding ring, it is better to give your answer before you actually get the rings. The most popular type of wedding band is available in a wide to shake hands or perform other social gestures with the left hand, particularly in formal or professional settings.
In conclusion, the tradition of wearing wedding rings on the left hand varies across cultures and religions. The left hand has been associated with symbolism of purity, weakness, femininity, the Devil, and restrictions on touching or movement. However, in modern times, these beliefs have become less prominent, and many couples now choose to wear their wedding rings on the hand and finger that feel most comfortable and meaningful to them. Regardless of which hand you choose to wear your wedding ring on, it’s important to choose a ring that symbolizes your love and commitment to your partner, and that reflects your personal style and preferences.
As a jewelcraft master, I have spent years honing my craft and perfecting my skills in creating beautiful, high-quality fine jewelry. I take great pride in my work, and I am always striving to create pieces that are unique, elegant, and timeless. In addition to creating jewelry, I also love to share my knowledge and passion with others through writing. That’s why I enjoy blogging about fine jewelry, where I can provide insight into the design process, share interesting industry news and trends, and offer tips on how to care for and style jewelry.