The Ring Finger
6 Pages
1523 Words

When it comes to planning a wedding, people have to worry not only about food,

flowers, and what they wear, they also have to honor many traditions, even if they don't

understand their origins or meanings. However, to not follow these traditions,

understood or not, might mean bad luck for the marriage or, at the very least, disgruntled

Every culture cherishes its own marriage traditions and superstitions. Many are

not understood but are still seriously followed because "it's always been done that way”

(Kendrick). Even people not normally superstitious wouldn't think of violating these

Many traditions originated from old rhymes, folktales or tribal traditions whose

origins are lost in time. For example, one of the original meanings of the word

"wedding” was to gamble or wager. This comes from the time when a bride price was

required before marriage. This bride price could include land, social status, political

alliances or money. Thus, the "Anglo-Saxon word 'wedd' meant that the groom would

vow to marry the woman, but it also referred to the bride price (money or barter) to be

paid by the groom to the bride's father” (Kendrick).

There are equally surprising origins for such traditions as the ring finger, wedding

ring, engagement ring (and its diamond), and wedding cake. For example, the finger

used as the ring finger differs from culture to culture. In Greece during the third century

the index finger was used. In India they used the thumb. The "modern” ring finger

started being used in the fourth century when the Greeks originated the belief that the

third finger was connected to the heart by the "vena amoris,” or the vein of love.

Use of a wedding ring can be traced back to Roman times, and even back then it

was made of gold. Roman rings were often decorated with a carving of two hands to

symbolize two people journeying thr...

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