It is quite commonly known that an engagement ring and wedding ring is worn on the left hand’s ring finger in most cultures and countries. There are some countries that prefer the right hand, however, but the general belief is that these rings should be placed on the left hand. Even though this is a tradition that has been accepted for centuries, many people do not stop and think about the reason behind these beliefs – yet they place their wedding rings on the left hand without knowing why they are doing this.
Here we are going to take a quick look at why people have been wearing their wedding rings on their left hand instead of their right hand – and also discuss the different countries and cultures that have been wearing their rings on the right hand instead as well.
The wearing of a wedding ring on the left hand dates back to ancient times. It has been passed on from one generation to the next generation. The idea of placing the wedding ring on the left hand’s ring finger originated from ancient Roman times, where it was believed the ring finger contained a vein that was directly connected to the heart. This vein was referred to as the “vena amoris”, which translates to the “vein of love”. Thus, the ring was placed on this finger for the reason that the finger was considered to be directly connected to the heart.
Biological studies have proofed this to be a false fact, but this has not caused the tradition to be forgotten. While it is known today that the left hand’s ring finger does not really contain this “vein of love”, people still prefer to follow this ancient tradition and wear their wedding ring on their left hand.
In the Northern and Central parts of Europe, people often prefer the right hand, however. The particular countries that have chosen not to follow these traditions, but rather to place their wedding rings on the right hand’s ring finger, includes Norway, Denmark, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, Austria, Poland and Bulgaria. Some areas in Belgium also chooses the right hand instead of the left hand.