In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, the devotional god with the face of a monkey, in the month of Marga (December-January). In 2016 it is on January 9th.
In Odisha, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on the first day of Vaisakha (April 14 or 15) as New Year for all Oriyas. In other places Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on the full moon day during the month of Chaitra.
Hanuman, the Vanara god, is widely venerated throughout India. He is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama and is worshipped for his unflinching devotion to Rama. It is said that a few thousand years before Ramayan time (in the latter part of Tretayuga – 2 million years ago), several divine souls came to Earth and modified the bodies of ape like creatures through evolutionary methods so that the animals could play the role of vehicles for these divine souls. That’s how the Vanara race with reddish orange color (hues of deep orange and light red) was established before the Ramayan.
On Hanuman Jayanthi devotees visit temples and apply sindoor (kumkum, a red powder) to their foreheads from Hanuman’s idol as Hanuman himself was of that colour. The officiating priest bathes the idol, decorates him richly and offers special prayers to the gods. Then, the entire body is smeared with sindoor and oil.
According to a legend, when Sita was applying sindoor on her hair, Hanuman asked her why. She replied that by applying sindoor, she ensured long life for her husband, Rama. Hanuman then smeared his entire body with sindoor in an effort to ensure Rama’s immortality. Hence, Hanuman’s idol is daubed with sindoor.
People offer sweets and fruit, especially bananas, to the god and to monkeys all over. People also fast from morning till evening. Tents are often erected in front of Hanuman temples where people congregate to listen to recitations of the Hanuman Chalisa.
Hanuman Jayanthi is an important festival of Hindus. Hanuman is the symbol of strength and energy. Hanuman is said to be able to assume any form at will, wield rocks, move mountains, dart through the air, seize the clouds and rival Garuda in swiftness of flight. He is worshipped as a deity with magical powers and the ability to conquer evil spirits.
On this day, in a Hanuman Temple spiritual discourses are started at dawn. Hanuman was born at sunrise. At that time the spiritual discourse is stopped and the offering of food is distributed to everyone.
There are only two Gods with the power to control the nine planets, especially the influence of Saturn. Lord Hanuman is one of them. His powers are so great that even Saturn fears to influence him or his devotees. Those who pray to Hanuman are not troubled by the planets, as all nine planets are deeply indebted to Hanuman.
Hanuman was born on a New Moon day under the Moola Nakshatra. He is considered the hero of heroes, as well as the servant of servants. He is totally selfless and without his own agenda. His power is so great that he seems to control Saturn with his tail, but really he controls Saturn with his love. Saturn loves and respects Hanuman so much that he cannot bring himself to harm those who are under his protection.
In ancient depictions, Hanuman carries on his shoulders the vehicle on which are seated Rama and Lakshmana. He is a warrior in the cause of Dharma He is the greatest, selfless and self-effacing devotee of Rama. By giving solace to Sita he is a symbol of hope to suffering, oppressed people. He is a sankatmochan because of his heroic deeds of great strength and will power. He is a true brahmacharya with control over the senses and chiranjiva, the immortal, or ever living.
The birthdays of the gods are special, as the god is close to the Earth on that day, and it provides you with an opportunity to establish a heart connection with the Deity. A heart connection means the god is alive for you and can help you in tangible ways.
Food for Hanuman Jayanthi
This is a day for fasting. Vadai and dry crackers are the most common foods.
- Wheat Crackers | Appalu
- Milagu Vadai
- Paruthitharai Vadai
- Neivedhyam: Offer milagu vada garland (make one of 108 vadai), beetle leaves garland and butter as neivedhyam to Hanuman. Poha, Sugar, honey, Panakam, Neermoor can also be offered.
Information from various sources including wikipedia. Pics from the Internet.