Finally, we were able to organize the Mundan or Head tonsuring ceremony for Shaarav at 16 months. I am not a blind supporter of customs and rituals and have an open eye to superstitious beliefs; I believe when traditions do no harm to us there’s no need to oppose them uselessly. In our culture, Mundan or Head tonsuring ceremony of a child has been considered an auspicious ceremony apart from Chhatthi, Annaprashan, and Marriage irrespective of a girl or boy child.
We had a very fun and enjoyable Mundan ceremony as Shaarav took the ceremony very gaily and did not cry one bit during the procedure. But it did take a lot of distractions and cajoling. Shaarav was the one to enjoy the most. He met new people, interacted with them and even played with them. Shaarav with his friendly and inviting nature was a delight to watch and the centre of attraction for all guests. He kept the guests entertained with his baby antics and kept the ambience very light and fun. All the guests had a good time, enjoyed a good meal and showered Shaarav with happy blessings. So all together, the ceremony was a success.
All about Mundan Ceremony You Need To Know
“Mundan ceremony” or “Mundan Sanskaar” is a popular Indian tradition where a child’s hair is shaved off completely. Some strongly believe that shaving the child’s head and offering it to the Gods get rid of the evil presence surrounding him and purifies the soul and body, removing any past karma or negativity and blesses the child with good health, long life and prosperity. Well, though I find it amusing and I do not believe in it.
The ceremony is usually performed during the first or the third year of a child’s life (basically the odd years). But we did Shaarav’s at 16 months because the basic ritual was performed when he was just a few days old (during his Chhatthi ceremony) and this was just a formality.
Still, for performing the Mundan ceremony, an auspicious day and time “Mundan Muhoorat” was decided upon. I emphasized that day to be on a Sunday so that all the guests could grace the occasion without much hassle. The priest was called upon (in our case it is called a “Paahan”) to perform all the necessary rites and rituals. We preferred to celebrate it at home so that Shaarav could be comfortable and take his timely nap without a fuss.
On the day of the ceremony, Shaarav was bathed and made to wear new clothes. At the scheduled time Shaarav was then made to sit on his Naanu’s lap (Shaarav’s maternal grandfather) which he obliged happily. The barber began shaving off his head slowly, part by part and Shaarav’s Bua (Shaarav’s aunt and Mr. Husband’s sister) collected his hair. The collected hair is supposed to be disposed of in the holy waters, but I plan to save a small piece of his locks for his record book (grinning!).
Even with the utmost care, Shaarav sustained some minor nicks and cuts from the shaving for which a paste of curd, turmeric, and sandalwood was generously applied to his head for soothing and healing. Sandalwood is known for its cooling properties, while turmeric is antiseptic, thus helps in the healing of any cuts and bruises.
The reasons why I decided for Shaarav’s Mundan
Apart from the cultural and religious custom, I decided to go for the Mundan ceremony for other reasons which are as follows:
1) The summer is approaching and just like his Dad Shaarav too sweats a lot. His head is especially hotter compared to the rest of his body. So I found this to be an opportune time to get his head shaved since it helps in keeping the child’s body and head cool during hot seasons like summer.
2) Shaarav was born almost bald at the front while he had some hair at the back of his head. And to our surprise, his hair was brown in colour when nobody in our family has it. Though there is no scientific evidence to prove it, but with my own personal experience, I believe that the hair after shaving grows back fuller and healthier.
My tips for a safe and smooth Mundan
Our ceremony went very smooth and we sailed through it without any hurdle. But it did need a bit of caution, planning ahead and preparation. Here are some tips which can help you sail through it safely and smoothly just like we did:
1) Prefer the location of the ceremony to be your home so that the baby is acquainted with the place and is at ease.
2) The baby should be well-fed and rested before the beginning of the ceremony.
3) Baby should be surrounded by known faces so that he does not become fidgety and jittery and remains calm and comforted to avoid any serious cuts.
4) Keep toys or pacifiers ready and handy for distracting and engaging the baby.
5) The shaving equipment should be new, clean and sterilized to avoid infections.
6) Keep warm water for wiping baby’s head.
7) Keep a paste of curd, turmeric, and sandalwood ready for applying to the head after shaving for soothing and healing.
Mundan ceremony holds a sacred and significant place in a child’s life in our culture. Though I chose to perform it for other reasons apart from religious and cultural, I made sure the ceremony went well without hurting anybody’s sentiments including mine. And who doesn’t like a fun family get-together? Shaarav’s Mundan ceremony has proved to be just another excuse to meet relatives and friends and enjoy a fun-filled day.