Hanuman Jayanti, also known as Hanumath Jayanti, is the auspicious day and is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, the monkey god. Hanuman Jayanti is an important festival and Hanuman is the symbol of strength and energy. Hanuman chalisa are recited and prayers are offered. It is believed that Hanuman removes away all the negativity from the life of his devotees and because of this he is also known as SANKAT MOCHAN – one who drives away the evil spirits from his devotees life.
WHEN IS HANUMAN JAYANTI CELEBRATED?
It is celebrated on chaitra Shukla Purnima (full moon day on Chaitra Hindu calendar). On this day, devotees line up in temples, honoring and worshiping the lord. Lord Hanuman is also known as Anjani, Maruti, Kesari nandan, Pavanputra, Bajrangbali and Mahavira. He is worshiped in folk tradition as a deity with magical powers and the ability to conquer evil spirits.
WHY IS HANUMAN JAYANTI CELEBRATED?
Hanuman was an ardent devotee of Rama, and this day is celebrated to honor his bravery and devotion towards Lord Rama. Hanuman was the son of Anjana and because of a curse she was born on earth as a female monkey. READ IN DETAIL ABOUT HANUMAN’S LIFE AND HIS BRAVE DEEDS.
Why is sindoor (vermillion) applied to Lord Hanuman’s Body – According to a popular belief, once when mother Sita was applying sindoor to her forehead, Hanuman witnessed it and asked her the reason for doing so. She replied that by applying sindoor, she ensured a long life for her husband.
The more sindoor she applied, the longer Rama’s life would be. Devoted Hanuman was elated to hear this and being a devotee to lord Rama he then smeared his entire body with sindoor, in an effort to ensure Rama’s immortality. Hence Hanuman’s idol is always coated with sindoor.
HOW IS HANUMAN JAYANTI CELEBRATED?
Early morning, devotees flock Hanuman temples to worship the monkey god. Officiating priest bathes the idol and offers special prayers to the gods. Then the entire body is smeared with sindoor and oil, a symbol of life and strength. Pujas are performed and ladoos and sweets are distributed as prasad.
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. 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 the recitations of the Hanuman Chalisa. Entertainment programs called the nautanki, are organized on this occasion. These dramas represent a particular aspect of the life of Hanuman, especially emphasizing his devotional nature and his bravery.
Games like wrestling are a common part of this festival. Body-builders and wrestlers assemble at a wrestling field in the morning. A tilak of orange sindoor 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 observe fast from morning till evening.
RECIPE OF HANUMAN JAYANTI FESTIVAL
Celebrate Hanuman Jayanti with homemade Meethi Boondi or Sweet Bundi recipe. Petite sugar coated gram flour balls is a mouthwatering sweet.