Dating and engagement customs in egypt
Ancient Egyptians are said to have been the first to use rings in a wedding ceremony, as early as 3000 BC.
Rings were made of braided hemp or reeds formed into a circle—the symbol of eternity, not only for the Egyptians, but many other ancient cultures.
The hole in the ring’s center represented a gateway or door leading to future events.
These rings were placed on the fourth finger of the left hand (known as the ring finger) as Egyptians believed a vein ran from that finger straight to the heart, and this practice is said to be the origins of many later traditions.
These rings were placed by a man upon the finger of his wife, signifying his confidence in her ability to care for his house.
Reed rings were not very durable, and eventually rings made of bone, leather or ivory came into use.
Rings were even sometimes given conditionally, as demonstrated in an old German marriage vow, “I give you this ring as a sign of the marriage which has been promised between us, provided your father gives with you a marriage portion of 1000 Reichsthalers.” Similarly, traditional early East Asian wedding rings were regarded as a seal for a legal contract. This was a ring that was said to be in many different pieces, and difficult to put on.
It fell apart when removed, and therefore the husband would know if the wife ever took it off in his absence.
These wedding bands would be made of two interlocking bands—one for the bride, and one for the groom.
During this era wedding rings were worn on various different fingers, including the thumb.
Britons wore theirs on the middle finger of either hand.
The two halves would be connected at the wedding, and then the wife would wear it thereafter.
The two rings, like the two lovers, became one, and these rings were said to have come from an old custom in the Middle East.