Wedding Band Traditions Around the World
The exchange of wedding rings is a tradition that has been around for centuries and in most cultures around the world. In ancient times, Romans and Egyptians began the custom of placing wedding bands around the third finger on their hand because it was believed a vein in that finger ran straight to the heart.
As you and your partner search for the perfect bridal sets for you, consider some of these other traditions from around the globe to add deeper meaning to your purchase.
European Traditions: Ireland
Irish wedding bands are called “Claddagh” rings, and can symbolize various relationships based on the direction it is worn on the finger. The design of this ring centers on a heart topped with a crown and amid two clasped hands. If worn on the left hand with the point of the heart facing the wrist, this ring symbolizes the bond of marriage.
European Traditions: Russia
In Russia, the wedding band consists of three interconnected thinner-than-normal rings. Traditionally, these rings symbolize the holy trinity but modern couples have also adapted the custom to symbolize the past, present, and future of their relationship. Each ring can be made of the same material, but the wearer may choose to use different metals or add gemstones to the rings.
Asian Traditions: Turkey
One of the more unique wedding band traditions comes from Turkey. The Turkish “Puzzle Ring”, also known as a “Harem Ring” is designed so that multiple pieces of a the band fit together as one solid ring on your hand, but when it is removed from the finger, comes apart.
It is common practice for both the man and the woman in the United States to wear wedding bands after they have said their “I do’s”, but this is actually a fairly new custom. During World War II, men began wearing wedding bands to symbolize their devotion to their wives back in the states. Gold was the go-to precious metal of choice.
Asian Traditions: India
Not all cultures where their wedding bands on their fingers. In Indian tradition, the bride wears a band called a “Bichiya” on her big toe to show her status as a married woman. Traditionally, gold is not generally permitted as a bichaya, but modern couples may choose this precious metal and even add diamonds as an embellishment.
As you and your partner seek out the perfect wedding bands as a symbol of your relationship, keep these customs from around the world in mind. You may just find that one of them speaks to you and adds additional meaning and value to this traditional symbol of love.