Mundana is the eighth of the sixteen Hindu saṃskāras (sacraments), in which a child receives their first haircut. According to the Grhya Sutras, this samskara should take place at the end of first year or before the expiry of the third year.
Significance of Mundana
In tradition, the hair from birth is associated with undesirable traits from past lives. Thus at the time of the mundana, the child is freshly shaven to signify freedom from the past and moving into the future. The rite is performed as a special ceremony in most homes, for young girls and boys.
A Brahmin or a priest is called over and he organises a ‘Havan’ or a ‘Homa’.After the Mundan is over a paste of turmeric and sandalwood is applied on the head of the baby. This is not only a ritual that is done as a part of the purifying act, but it also ensures that the antiseptic properties of the Haldi (turmeric) and sandalwood prevent the possible occurrence or any sort of irritation or infection.
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