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Mundan, Mooran or Chudkaran Sanskaara (Cutting of baby's hair)

Mundan, Mooran or Chudkaran Sanskaara is a vital Hindu tradition of cutting a Baby's Hair. This tradition or Sanskaara harks to the practice of Sanatan Dharma as far back as 3700BC and that era's heavy reliance of Ritual Purity. TOday, this symbolic ritual purity is still very much a part of out practice and has variations across the regions Sanatan Dharma is practiced. This ceremony serves many purposes including social acceptance, ritual purity by shaving off temporary remains of a childbirth experience and official induction into a Hindu family system.

In the North Indian (Uttar Pradeshi) tradition, the newborn baby's hair is completely shaved after specific periods while in the Central Regions of India, this is done after 1 year. Both versions were transmitted and still exist in the Caribbean. The Central-India tradition is a bit more simple where the Baby's hair is not cut for an entire year, then on the 1st Birthday, it is trimmed off and placed in a Loie or Loyaa then secured in a banana tree (the full moon day is avoided for this Sanskaara).

The North Indian method is very colorful and still practiced widely. In this ceremony, the Baby's hair is shaved completely at either three days, nine days, three months - and in extreme cases - 1 year after birth. While the traditional method is three days, Pundits today recommend the three-month period for obvious reasons. This particular tradition is performed in two parts and in two locations. The parts are: cutting of the hair and performance of a Pujaa. The locations are: the home and the sea shore/riverbank.

Possible ways which this ceremony can be performed are as follows: Pujaa can be conducted at the home for the Baby’s hair to be cut then devotees all accompany the parents to the seaside for the cutting of the hair and a traditional offering to Gangaa. The Baby's hair can also be cut at the home, Pujaa is then performed and the hair is subsequently taken to the sea. In yet another method, the Pujaa and haircut are undertaken at the seashore (although this is not recommended as it can be arduous for a baby to endure).

Some important traditions associated with this practice are:
A maternal or paternal uncle should cut the baby's hair (at least initially)
A Phuaa (paternal aunt) or someone acting the role should collect some of the hair in the Loie/Loyaa
The Pujaa should be performed by a Pundit
The Gangaa Pujaa is a traditional offering well known to Mothers and elderly womenfolk in which the Pundit is not involved.

Link: Things Required For Chudkaran Sanskaara

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