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Traditional Culture of Wedding Rings

January 7, 2023

Traditional Culture of Wedding Rings There is always a lot to be said about wedding traditions and customs. For example: Engagement rings and some other jewelry have different meanings in different societies and cultures.

In ancient Greece, the ring was worn on the index finger. In ancient India, the ring was worn on the thumb. The tradition of wearing the ring on the ring finger, as we know it today, began in late ancient Greece, when the Greeks believed there was a “bloodline of love” that connected the ring finger directly to the heart.

In early Rome, the ring became a symbol of eternal love and a sign of engagement. In ancient Rome, wedding rings were engraved with two clasped hands, and some wedding rings were engraved with a key, symbolizing that the bride could use this key to unlock her husband’s heart.

In 860 A.D., Pope Nicholas I issued a decree making the presentation of an engagement ring mandatory for marriage. He also insisted that the “engagement ring” must be made of gold, because it meant that the bridegroom would do whatever it took for his bride. And “wedding rings with birthstones” are said to bring good luck to the bride.

Although it is not unusual for men to wear rings nowadays, it was not fashionable for men to wear rings before the 16th century. After World War II, the ceremony of exchanging wedding rings at weddings began in the United States as a symbol of the love and understanding between the bride and groom in their marriage.

The Jewish “Wedding Ring”

Since ancient times, Jews have followed a tradition that the groom must give the bride a token of betrothal, whether it is a betrothal or a formal wedding, otherwise the betrothal or wedding is invalid. Beginning in the 7th century, it became common for Jews to use rings as a token of engagement. The traditional “Jewish ring” was made of gold and was not inscribed or set with stones to symbolize the purity of the union between a man and a woman. This tradition is still followed by Jews to this day.

The Russian “triple ring”

The Russian wedding ring is made of three interlocking rings, each made of a different color of gold, representing the Trinity of the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son.

The European “double ring”

In 16th century Europe, a “double ring” engagement ring first appeared. It usually consisted of two (sometimes three) detachable rings, each made of gold. When a couple became engaged, they each wore one of the rings until the formal wedding, when both rings would be placed on the bride’s finger. The third ring, if there are three, will be given to a special person attending the wedding, such as the bride and groom’s matchmaker or witness. Before the wedding is over, this person will return the rings to the groom for safekeeping. This traditional custom has since evolved into the exchange of rings between the parties today.

Jade and pearls in Asian cultures

In Asian cultures, jadeite is a symbol of luck, health and prosperity. However, originally people were never allowed to buy jadeite for themselves, they thought it would bring bad luck or even death. Therefore, jadeite jewelry could only be given by others. There were also some wealthy families who would buy a whole piece of jadeite as a symbol of family and bloodline continuity, and on the occasion of the birth of a newborn baby, a piece would be taken from that piece of jadeite and given to the baby. At weddings, the families of both men and women exchange jadeite pieces to “welcome each other into their families”. Usually a jadeite ring or necklace is given to express the couple’s blessing and welcome.