In this Article
The Mundan or head shaving ceremony for children has been around in the Indian culture for many years. It is one of the traditional rituals followed in Hindu culture and has a lot of hidden references and significance attached to its existence. The mundan ceremony is often regarded as a very important part of a child’s growing years, and hence, it is given a lot of thought and effort and done with utmost care.
What Is Mundan Ceremony For Babies And Kids?
The baby mundan ceremony or “mundan sanskar” is a popular traditional ritual in India that is carried out with auspicious beliefs kept in mind. The Hindu mundan ceremony is a ritual where a child’s hair is completely shaved off and given as an offering to the Gods.
Indian Cultural Belief Behind Baby Mundan Ceremony:
In the Hindu culture, it is strongly believed that shaving a child’s first full head of hair makes a child pure and rids it of any evil eye or evil presence around it.
There are also a number of other beliefs behind this practice:
- It helps in keeping the child’s body and head cool during hot seasons like summer
- It purifies the soul and body of the child
- When children are teething, they tend to suffer from certain pains and headaches. The shaving ritual is believed to reduce this discomfort
- The hair is believed to grow back fuller and healthier after the shaving
- It blesses the child with a long life and good health
- It removes any past life karma or negativity from the present and future of the child
When Mundan/Head Tonsure Is Done
For the mundan ceremony, the child’s age usually varies between 1-3 years of age, but some people prefer to do it at a later age as well. The hair that is shaved has to be the first growth of hair that the child has.
Mundan Ceremony Guarantees Better Hair Growth – Myth Or Fact?
That fact that shaving the first hair guarantees better growth has a good amount of scientific reasoning behind it. Hair growth, in general, is quite scattered in young children, because they are still at the initial stages of development, and the process of absorbing necessary nutrients for their growth is still picking up pace.
When a baby’s hair grows for the first time, it is not very strong and the hair follicles are scattered due to this lack of strength. When the weak hair is shaved off, there is room for fresher, stronger hair follicles to grow out of the roots and the hair growth pattern is no longer scattered or messy. Therefore, the baby hair growth after mundan is certainly better, denser and stronger too.
The Mundan Sanskar Vidhi Or Mundan Ritual
- A child’s mundan is always done at an auspicious date and time. This is also known as the “mundan muhurat”, which is set by a priest keeping a number of astrological and mythological factors in mind
- The priest sets up a havan or pooja, where the mother is seated with the child on her lap. While some families prefer to celebrate it at home, others prefer to go to a specific temple or shrine to do it
- The priest then shaves off a part of the child’s hair, all the while chanting sacred hymns for the ceremony which is also called “mundan sanskar mantra”. These mantras are specifically written for this particular ritual
- The rest of the hair is shaved off by a barber who does it with utmost care
- The child’s head is then washed with holy water given by the priest, which is also called “Gangaajal”, and this water is believed to help with soothing and healing the head
- Finally, the shaved off hair is offered to the Gods or is given away by other means, whichever is suggested by the priest
Tips And Precautions For A Safe Mundan
This ceremony is an intricate one and has to be done with certain precautions in mind
- The child must be well-fed and rested. This is because children are usually cranky or restless and even the slightest wrong move could cause them injury
- The barber must be a professional one who has had past experience working with children. Also, his equipment must be very clean and sterilised as you don’t want the child to catch any infections
- Giving the child a nice, warm bath after the ceremony is complete is a good idea. Many times, tiny strands or pieces of hair might get stuck on the skin or be left on the head, and this is unhygienic. Also, a bath will wash off any dirt that might have settled on the head, especially if the ceremony was done outdoors
- Since the baby’s head is coming in contact with a blade or metal for the first time, it might have an allergic reaction. Keeping in mind that babies have very delicate skin, it’s better to apply an antiseptic or a home-made ayurvedic paste of turmeric and sandalwood to help with healing the skin faster and avoiding any rashes
The mundan ceremony has a lot of value and meaning attached to it, which is why many families even today continue to make it a part of their traditions. It does have its own benefits and advantages for the child, along with spiritual reasons. Just ensure that you follow all the necessary steps and precautions to make the mundan ceremony a memorable occasion.