There are many customs and traditions which are prevalent since times immemorial. Specifically in the Hindu culture there is a long list of ceremonies which begin with birth right upto the last rites of the person thus covering this entire journey from being born to being dissolved in the panchmahabhutas. One such ceremony is the mundan ceremony.
What Is Mundan Ceremony?
The mundan ceremony is also called chudakarana and basically it represents the first time shaving of the baby hair after the child is born. It is said that one cannot do the shaving of baby hair in any random year.
Though it could be carried out in the latter years also but experts suggest that it is better done in the first year itself. There is also a logic behind it that if the first time shaving is done early, it would lead to better hair growth of the baby as he or she grows up.
Symbolically the carrying out of the mundan ceremony or the first time shaving of baby hair signifies that the undesirable traits of the last life are left behind and the child can begin a new life. It is a thousand years old tradition that is still being followed in almost all parts of the country. It is a big celebration time for the family. After the mundan ceremony a small tuft of hair is left on the head. It is called the shikha which protects the brain. The length of the sikha depends on the gotra and other traditions of the family. The mundan ceremony is common for both girls and boys.
If you happen to visit Hrishikesh in North India you will get to see a large number of young boys and girls who do their mundan ceremony on regular basis here. It is considered to be most auspicious for the mundan ceremony. People come from different corners of the country to do the mundan ceremony of their child here. The hair of the child is offered to the holy river Ganges. The child and the father of the child perform a yajna and aarti as they offer the hair of the child to the river.