Hanuman Jayanti is a very significant and auspicious day for Hindus. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Lord Hanuman.
Lord Hanuman was an incarnation of Lord Shiva, the most revered figure in the Hindu religion. Also known as Pavanputra, Lord Hanuman is considered to be an exemplification of courage, strength, devotion, and perseverance. Every year, people from all across India and Nepal celebrate this festival on full moon day in the month of Chaitra. This year Hanuman Jayanti is on 31 March 2018.
Anjana, a beautiful apsara in the celestial palace of Vishnu, was doomed by a curse. As per the curse, she was to take birth on Earth as a human. She was to be redeemed from this curse only if she gave birth to a son. Anjana fell in love with Kesari, son of Brihaspati and king of Sumeru. She happily got married to Kesari and started living with him. According to Ramayana of Valmiki, Anjana had to perform intense prayers for 12 long years to Lord Shiva to get a child.
Lord Shiva was extremely pleased by the devotion of Anjana and granted her a boon to wish anything she desires. Anjana asked Lord Shiva to be her son so that she may be freed from the curse. Lord Shiva granted her wish and later Hanuman was born who is an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Lord Hanuman was an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, who was the king of Ayodhya. There is a legend that once Sita, the wife of Lord Rama, was applying sindoor in the presence of Hanuman. He asked her the significance of sindoor in curiosity. She explained to her that sindoor signifies her respect and unconditional love towards Lord Rama. Hanuman applied sindoor all over his body to show his immense love for Lord Rama. It is believed that whosoever offers Sindoor to Lord Hanuman gets freedom from all his problems and worries. People on this day apply Sindoor to Lord Hanuman hoping all their difficulties would go away.
Devotees from all parts of India celebrate this festival in their unique ways. It is believed Lord Hanuman was born early in the morning so devotees wake up in the wee hours, visit temples and offer prayers to the Lord.
In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated by Deeksha of 41 days. It starts on Chaitra Purnima and ends on the tenth day in Vaishakha month during Krishna Paksha.
In Maharashtra, it is believed that Hanuman was born on a full moon day in the Hindu lunar month of Chaitra. Some people also believe the birth day of Hanuman falls on the fourteenth day (Chaturdashi) in the dark fortnight of the month of Ashvin. Offerings of food are distributed to all devotees in temples.
In Karnataka, Hanuman Jayanti is commonly known as Hanuman Vratam and is observed on Shukla Paksha Trayodashi during Margashirsha month.
In Tamil Nadu, Hanuman Jayanti is popularly known as Hanumath Jayanti and is observed during Margashirsha Amavasya. As per Gregorian Calendar, Hanuman Jayanti in Tamil Nadu falls in the month of December or January.
Some people keep fasts on this day and some offer laddoo and boondi (a favourite food of Lord Hanuman) to the lord. People light diyas and fragrant candles and chant mantras.
On this day, people also offer donations in the form of food or clothing to the needy. Wrestlers consider the day to be auspicious and thus, undertake fasts. Many villages organize exciting wrestling matches where the winner is bestowed with attractive prizes.
Last Updated: 22nd February, 2018