Why the Fourth Finger is Traditionally the Ring Finger

Your Celebrant Shona works with many couples from different cultures. One of her beautiful Chinese couples gave this beautiful explanation of why the fourth finger is traditionally the wedding ring finger. We have never heard this explanation before, and we were positively blown away by this practical demonstration!

Firstly, hold your open palms face-to-face, and bend your middle fingers down  and hold together back-to-back. Next, open and hold the remaining fingers and thumb tip to tip as shown. 

Now, try to separate the thumbs – these represent The Parents and you will notice they separate easily, because your parents are not destined to live with you lifelong and will leave you sooner or later. 

Rejoin your thumbs, then go ahead and separate the index fingers. These represent your siblings, and again will come apart easily, because your siblings will go on to have their own families and lead their own lives separate to your own. 

After rejoining the tips of your index fingers, try the same with your pinkie fingers. They will open, too, as they represent your children, who will one day fly the next, marry and settle down one day. 

Finally, place the tips of your pinkie fingers back together and try to separate your ring fingers, which represent your spouse. You will be surprised to find you cannot! This is because husband and wife should remain together all their lives, through thick and thin. 

Isn’t this a beautiful way of demonstrating the nature of marriage!

Hi, I’m Sally, Founder and Editor of The Bride’s Tree. Over the past 13 years I’ve written thousands of articles about all things wedding from tips and trends to etiquette and ideas. On this blog I bring you the best of Sunshine Coast and Brisbane weddings.