Wedding rings traditions from around the world
October 19, 2023 • 4 min read
Wedding rings hold a special place in the hearts and traditions of people around the world. These small, circular symbols of love and commitment have been an integral part of wedding ceremonies for centuries, each culture bringing its unique twist to this timeless tradition.
From their origins to their significance, here’s a fascinating exploration of wedding ring traditions from various corners of the globe.
In Western cultures, the exchange of wedding rings symbolises an eternal bond between the couple. The tradition of wearing a ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates back to the Romans, who believed that this finger contained the ‘vena amoris’ or ‘vein of love’ directly connected to the heart.
In India, wedding rings are not as prominent as other forms of jewellery. Instead, couples often exchange intricately designed gold necklaces or toe rings to symbolise their union. However, modern Indian weddings are increasingly adopting the Western practice of exchanging rings, which are worn on the ring finger of the right hand.
Mexican wedding rings, known as ‘arras,’ are thirteen gold coins representing Jesus and his twelve apostles. These coins are blessed by the priest and presented to the bride as a symbol of the groom’s commitment to provide for her. The coins are often threaded onto a necklace or bracelet.
Japanese wedding rings, known as ‘kizuna no yubiwa,’ hold deep cultural significance. They are typically made of three different metals: pink gold to represent love, white gold to symbolise friendship, and yellow gold to signify fidelity. These rings are usually worn on the fourth finger of the left hand.
Chinese wedding rings are typically made of gold and are seen as a symbol of prosperity and wealth. The design of the rings often includes intricate dragon motifs, which are believed to bring good fortune. Interestingly, Chinese couples wear their wedding rings on their fingers facing inward, towards the heart.
In Egypt, wedding rings are usually made of silver and are worn on the ring finger of the right hand. Silver is believed to bring good luck and protection, making it an important choice for couples.
In Ireland, the Claddagh ring is a popular choice for wedding bands. This distinctive design features two hands holding a heart, often crowned. The hands represent friendship, the heart symbolises love, and the crown stands for loyalty. These rings are rich in symbolism and tradition.
South African Traditions
In South Africa, some indigenous tribes, like the Zulus, exchange wedding rings made of beads. These colourful rings are not only a symbol of love but also a representation of cultural heritage and identity.
Wedding rings may come in different forms and materials, but their universal significance is a testament to the power of love and commitment. These diverse traditions from around the world showcase the enduring importance of this symbol in uniting couples in marriage. Whether it’s a simple band of gold, a colourful beaded creation, or a complex design, wedding rings continue to be a cherished emblem of love and devotion across cultures and time.
If you’re looking for wedding rings in Sydney, Midas Jewellery can help. With a wide selection of wedding rings for both brides and grooms, we can assist you in selecting a ring for your big day. Our selection spans across intricate, plain and diamond designs.
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