According to the holy Hindu scriptures and the opinion of the astrologers, the Mundan must be performed in an odd month and an odd year. The first, third, fifth and seventh year is considered perfect for the ritual. Although many are also of the opinion that it should be done either in the first year or the third and not later than that.
The Mundan ceremony is a purifying ritual that is as per the directives mentioned in the Vedas. There are sixteen Sanskars or ceremonies that are required to be performed in a person’s life, Mundan being one of them.
From another aspect - Based on hindu scriptures, a soul passes through eighty-four lakh ‘Yonis’ before it gets to acquire a human body. So each and every ‘Yoni’ has a certain influence on the current birth of the baby. This Mundan is a purification act that is performed in order to ensure that the baby is cleansed of all the undesirable elements of passing through all the earlier births. It is a gesture to purify the soul from the previous ‘Yonis’.
Process / Procedure
A havan or homam is performed by a priest. The mother sits with the child 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 shaves off the rest of the hair. In some families, the father performs the initial rite instead of the priest.
The shaven head is washed with holy water (Gangajal). Then a paste of turmeric and sandalwood is applied. It is believed that this mixture cools the head and speeds up the healing of any nicks and cuts. The shaved hair is either offered to a deity or to a sacred river like the Ganga. Your priest may offer another way to dispose of the hair.
In some cultures, a tuft of hair is left on the head (also known as shikha, choti, or bodi). It is said that shikha protects the brain.
4-5 Hours (Includes time for hair cutting, preparation for Puja, actual Puja.)