Wedding Rings. History and Traditions.
When always on the go, most people rarely speculate on the history and sense of traditions, rites and rituals that we may observe every day.
The tradition of wearing wedding rings, integral part in many cultures, is covered with the dust of its long existence. Letís reveal it.
Letís face it, slipping a ring on a husband/wifeís to-be finger we just confirm the marital status in a nice romantic way. Sometimes rings can help convey the message: Hey girls/guys, move away, she/heís mine.
But what did this tradition mean for our ancestors?
Throughout the history a ring was the symbol of contracting a marriage. The wedding ring represents eternity since it is a circle and depicts no ends that diverge - a perfect symbol of union and togetherness.
Egyptian pharaohs are considered to have introduced this tradition. Their rings were more than chunky as they served as seals. Later, lower social strata followed this tradition.
The Ancient Romans presented the ring to the brideís parents as a symbol of commitment and ability to maintain a wife to-be. Besides, the wedding ring was metal.
It was only with the extension of Christianity, namely in the 4th century A.D. that rings became wedding rings as before that they had been a part of the engagement ritual.
Since its very beginning rings have been worn on the third finger of the left hand. It was considered a harbinger of good luck and happiness for the family as even the Ancient Romans believed that blood ran directly from this finger to the heart. It was said to be symbolic of love and honor. According to the Christian laws, the wedding ring, symbolic of commitment and loyalty, should be quite plain. However, nowadays this rule is not so strict. Considering individual choice has become paramount and jewelry rings with gemstones are absolutely acceptable.
However, along with the wedding itself, the Christianity dictates it to go after the engagement. Besides, the ring the bridegroom presents during this ritual is usually much more expensive than the one slipped on the finger during the wedding.
As for the rings set with diamonds, this practice was first introduced by the Roman emperorís Fredrick III, court. In 1477, the young archduke Maximilian ordered a ring made of compressed gold and silver and set with diamonds in the shape of the letter ďMĒ.
However, whatever metal and gemstones we choose for our wedding ring, let it bring love and happiness.
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