| Hanuman Chalisa |
Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, the monkey god widely venerated throughout India. It is
celebrated during Chaitra and is especially important to Brahmacharis, wrestlers and
Hanuman was an ardent devotee of Rama, and is worshipped for his unflinching devotion to the god. From the early morning, devotees flock Hanuman temples to worship the monkey god.
The officiating priest bathes the idol and offers special prayers to the gods. Then the entire body is smeared with sindoora and oil, a symbol of life and strength.
Legend of Sindoor on Lord Hanuman's Body: According to a popular belief, once when Sita was applying sindoora to her hair, Hanuman asked her the reason for doing so. She replied that by applying sindoora, she ensured a long life for her husband. The more sindoora she applied, the longer Rama's life would be. The devoted Hanuman then smeared his entire body with sindoora, in an effort to ensure Rama's immortality. Hence Hanuman's idol is always daubed with sindoora.
Celebrations: People offer sweets and fruit, specially bananas, to the god. Since
Hanuman is a monkey god, monkey's in zoos and neighboring areas are also objects of
veneration on this day. Men also fast from morning till evening. In some parts of the
country, especially Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the festival involves more elaborate
celebrations. Huge tents are erected in front of Hanuman temples where people congregate
to listen to recitations of the Hanuman Chalisa.
Games like wrestling are a common part of this festival. Body-builders and wrestlers assemble at a wrestling field in the morning after praying for blessings from the monkey god.
A tilak of orange sindoora from Hanuman's body is applied to their forehead, for it is considered to be auspicious and bestow good luck.
These events represent the power and strength
that Hanuman symbolizes. Most of the body-builders and wrestlers fast on this day,
breaking it only at night.