In Chinese tradition, there are specific customs regarding the wearing of engagement and wedding rings. The engagement ring is traditionally worn on the middle finger, while the bride and groom wear wedding rings on different hands.

The bride wears a ring on her right hand, while the groom wears his on the left. This practice stems from the belief that women play a significant role in household management. As a symbol of this responsibility, the bride’s ring is placed on her right hand.

The concept of “nan zhuo, nu you” emphasizes that the left hand is associated with males, while the right hand is associated with females, denoting their respective roles and influences.

It is worth noting that wedding ring placement can differ among individuals and regions in China. Certain individuals may opt to wear their wedding ring on an alternative finger.

Moreover, contemporary trends and Western influences have contributed to variations in ring-wearing traditions. Ultimately, the choice of the wedding ring finger is a personal decision influenced by cultural, individual, or couple-specific preferences.


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The history of the wedding ring finger in China

Wedding Ring Finger In China

In ancient China, wearing rings as symbols of marital commitment can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and possibly even earlier. However, it’s important to note that the specific finger on which wedding rings were worn might have varied over time.

The Chinese culture has a longstanding tradition of using rings to symbolize commitment and marriage. This practice of exchanging rings during wedding ceremonies represents the union between two individuals and their respective families. The importance of the wedding ring finger in China is deeply intertwined with Chinese culture’s core beliefs and philosophies.

Throughout history, the choice of the ring finger as the designated finger for wedding rings in China has been passed down through generations, influenced by cultural traditions and customs. Although practices and preferences may have changed over time, the inherent symbolism associated with the ring finger continues to be deeply rooted in notions of love, commitment, balance, and harmony.

China’s cultural diversity contributes to variations in ring-wearing traditions. Different regions and ethnic groups may possess unique customs and interpretations concerning the significance of the wedding ring finger. Furthermore, the impact of modernization and global trends has prompted some individuals to diverge from traditional practices, choosing alternative fingers or hands for wearing wedding rings.


The meaning of wedding ring finger in china

meaning of wedding ring finger in china

In China, the wedding ring finger holds significant meaning and symbolism. The meaning of wedding ring finger in China embodies love, commitment, balance, and harmony. It serves as a visible symbol of the deep connection and lifelong devotion between married partners.

According to ancient Chinese philosophy, each finger holds a symbolic meaning. The thumb represents the parents, signifying the connection and support from one’s family. The index finger represents siblings, symbolizing the bond and camaraderie among brothers and sisters. The middle finger represents oneself, representing individuality and self-awareness.

The ring finger represents a life partner, symbolizing love, commitment, and marriage. The little finger represents children, embodying the joy and responsibility of raising a family. These finger associations in Chinese philosophy reflect individuals’ significant relationships and roles within their families and society.

Symbolically, the gesture of closing your hands and touching all your fingertips holds a profound meaning in Chinese culture. Folding your middle fingers, representing yourself, signifies that you can shape your destiny.

Opening your thumbs acknowledges that your parents will not always be by your side, and opening your index fingers recognizes that your siblings will eventually pursue their paths and create their own families. Similarly, moving your little fingers signifies your children will grow up and establish their own lives.


The ring finger

The ring finger

However, when it comes to the ring fingers, the sentiment shifts. It becomes impossible to separate the ring fingers because they represent the unbreakable bond between husband and wife. As a married couple, you will be together forever, symbolizing the commitment, love, and eternal connection shared in marriage.

Besides, the selection of the ring finger in China is influenced by the concept of the Five Elements (Wu Xing) in traditional Chinese philosophy. According to this belief, each finger corresponds to one of the five elements: metal, wood, fire, earth, and water.

The ring finger is associated with the earth element, representing relationships’ stability, balance, and harmony. Wearing a wedding ring on this finger is believed to enhance these qualities and strengthens the bond between couples. The symbolism of the ring finger in China aligns with the significance of creating a stable and harmonious union in marriage.

Furthermore, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture principles played a role in designating the ring finger as significant. According to these beliefs, the body has meridians or energy channels, and the ring finger is associated with the heart meridian. Wearing a wedding ring on this finger is believed to strengthen the connection between the heart and the relationship between the couple.

The ring finger

This connection promotes love, emotional well-being, and a harmonious partnership. The choice of the ring finger in Chinese culture encompasses both cultural symbolism and the principles of traditional medicine, emphasizing the importance of emotional and energetic connections within a marriage.

It is important to note that the association of the ring finger with marriage extends beyond China and is present in numerous cultures worldwide. The belief in the “vein of love” or “vena amoris” is not unique to Chinese culture but is shared by many other cultures.

This belief suggests that a vein directly connects the ring finger to the heart, symbolizing love and commitment’s enduring and profound connection. The significance attributed to the ring finger in China aligns with the universal understanding of the deep emotional and symbolic connection represented by wearing a wedding ring on this finger.


Signing out!


According to Chinese tradition, the middle finger is reserved for the engagement ring, and wedding rings are worn on opposite hands—on the bride’s right hand and the groom’s left hand. This arrangement symbolizes the traditional gender roles within the household, with the woman’s ring placed on her right hand to represent her responsibilities as the head of the household.

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About the Author: Dinushka Breaker Gunasekara

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1 comment

  • Js Diamond: October 17, 2023
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    When choosing a wedding ring supplier, it’s crucial to ask the right questions to ensure you’re making the perfect choice for your special day.
    I’ve had the pleasure of working with Js Diamond for my wedding ring, and I must say they are indeed one of the most reliable luxury wedding ring suppliers in the Philippines. The quality and craftsmanship of their rings are top-notch, and their customer service is exceptional.