BAABRI – THE FIRST HAIRCUT
Updated: May 3, 2021
There are many traditions and rituals that are unique to a Gujarati family. It begins with birth. There are many performed upon arrival of a new born baby. One of them is the baby’s first hair cut known as Baabri. In other Indian cultures it is known as Mundan. This is a rite of passage for this new soul arriving in this world. There are many beliefs behind why it is done.
Hair grows back nice and thickHelps keep the baby’s head coolIt is to get rid of the past life’s negative connectionsProtects from evil eyeEasy to take care of the baby
In Gujarati families, the ritual is performed to a baby 6
to 2 years old, depending on the hair growth. In some families it is limited to the boys, however many perform this for boys and girls. Some families invite a priest and some make it a small intimate affair.
Baby’s foi (Father’s sister-paternal aunt) catches the hair as it is shaven and in turn blesses the baby.
When a priest is called they may perform a havan (fire ritual) while chanting sanskrit mantras. Mother or father sits with the child in their lap. The priest shaves off a part of the child’s hair. The parents or the barber finishes the hair cut after that.
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. Some cultures leave a small section on the hair as shikha or choti.
If you ever wondered why Indian hair is so healthy and lucious, well this surely can contribute to that.