Informant Info

Nationality: Indian

Age: 53

Occupation: Computer Programmer

Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada

Date of Performance/Collection: 2023

Primary Language: English

Other Language(s): Tamil

Relationship: Mother

Referred as AS.  AS was born in India and moved to the United States when she was 24. 


The Mundan ceremony, also known as the Chudakarana or the Godh Bharai, is a Hindu ritual that involves shaving a child’s head. The ceremony is usually performed when a child is six months to two years old, although the exact age and timing may vary depending on local traditions and customs.


While growing up, AS attended this ritual for several kids in her family.  She has done this ritual for my brother and me.

The origin of the ceremony can be traced back to ancient India, where it was practiced as a way of cleansing the body and mind.  The ceremony is performed to mark the end of a child’s first year of life, while in others, it is done before a child’s first birthday In some communities, the hair is offered to a deity, while in others, it is buried in the earth or thrown into a river.  The ceremony is believed to remove any negative energies and impurities from the child’s life and promote his or her spiritual growth. 


The Mundan ceremony has several cultural and religious significances, and its interpretation may vary depending on the specific community or region. Here are a few common interpretations and significance of the Mundan ceremony:

  1. Symbolic purification: In many Hindu traditions, shaving off a child’s hair during the Mundan ceremony is seen as a symbolic purification of the child’s body and soul.
  2. Cultural tradition: It is seen as a rite of passage for the child, marking his or her entry into the family and community. The ceremony also allows family and friends to come together and celebrate the child’s growth and development.
  3. Symbolic sacrifice: Shaving off a child’s hair during the Mundan ceremony is seen as a symbolic sacrifice.