Muslims too shave or trim the baby’s hair and some Sikhs perform the kesi dahi ceremony. This is done by putting curd in the hair of the newborn baby boy.
Mundan is done with a belief that it purifies the child. Many believe that Mundan:
- Rids the baby of the past life’s negativity
- Bestows a long life and a good future
- Protects the child from the evil eye
- Cleanses the child’s body and soul
- Helps to keep the baby cool during the hot summer months
- Help relieve pains caused by teething
- Improves the growth of the baby’s hair.
A havan is performed by a priest. The mother sits with the baby in her lap and faces the west of the sacred fire. The priest shaves off a part of the child’s hair while chanting sacred hymns. After that, the barber or in some families the father shaves off the rest. After the head is washed with holy water (Gangajal) , a smooth paste of sandalwood and turmeric is applied on the bald head. It is believed that this cools the head and speeds up the healing of any nicks and cuts. The shaved hair is either offered to the deity or to a sacred river.
Here are some tips for a safe Mundan:
- Ensure that the barber’s equipment and tools are sterilized.
- The baby should be given a bath right after the shaving ceremony. Hair may be trapped between the folds of the skin.
- Antiseptic cream or a paste of turmeric mixed with sandalwood should be applied to heal any cuts on the baby’s head.