Mongolian Children’s First Hair Cutting Ceremony.

Mongolian Children’s First Hair Cutting Ceremony.

A child’s first hair cut is a very important celebration in Mongolian culture; it means cutting their birth hair and also blessing how a child is growing up in this world. Boys who are 3 or 5 years old, get their first hair cut. Mongolian girls who are 2 or 4 years old, get their first hair cut. Boys are on odd numbers and girls are on even numbers. It is a traditional ceremony that varies from each Mongolian region to another, each of these regions celebrate it a little differently.  
The ceremony host offers every guest food. When the ceremony begins they state the boy or girls name and sitting on their right is the oldest person in the family. With a wooden knife tied with a hadag(silk prayer cloth), the elder begins to cut little pieces of their hair. If they are a boy, the elder will start cutting hair on the right side of the head above the ear, if they are a girl they’ll start cutting on the left side of the head above the  ear. While cutting the hair the elder wishes them blessings and goes on to give the child a cup of milk and puts a dot of milk on their forehead as a sign of their blessings . Afterwards the next oldest person continues cutting the hair in the direction of the sun circling earth. Each person cutting the hair gives the child a blessing and gift, that makes the child happy and gives them a strong feeling of joy. Buryat Mongols first hair cut starts with the birth mother or the God Mother that delivered the child.   .   

A childs first hair cut gives a child trust and strong feelings with their family and friends, that’s why we celebrate the first hair cut with blessings and gifts. After the hair cut parents collect the  hair and save it in a hadag(silk prayer cloth).

Old Mongolian traditions were to save a small horseshoe shaped section of hair on the child head if an important member of the family was away when the hair cutting ceremony was performed - they would then cut it when they returned home.    

By: S. Uzmee

Edited by James Pigg. 04.04.2016