The Ring Finger

             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 .

             wedding guests.

             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 .

             traditions.

             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. .

             (Kendrick).

             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 through life together as one.

Related Essays: