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Last night, I attended a pidyon haben - a somewhat rare occasion to attend because of various "regulations" on who qualifies for a pidyon.

I noticed during the approximately 10 times I have attended a pidyon that the seudah (meal) for a pidyon occurs before the actual pidyon ceremony. I know, whereas, for a brit, that the seudah takes place after the brit. Why is there this difference?

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    In the one that I went to, the meal took place after. Could just be minhag. Some cite Bereishis 21 as the source for having a meal for a Bris (see Midrash Rabbah there); what's the earliest source for a meal for Pidyon HaBen? If the Ba'alei Simcha of a Bris are in Shul Tachanun is cancelled, but not so for a Pidyon. Perhaps the ceremony for the Bris (i.e. everything but the brachah and Milah itself) is more established in Halacha than the ceremony for the Pidyon (i.e. everything but the brachah and Pidyon itself). – DonielF May 11 '17 at 23:26

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