Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated by devotees across the world to commemorate the birth of Hanuman, the loyalist of the Hindu god Ram. Also known as Hanumath Jayanti, it is the day when the Vanara god is believed to have take birth and falls on the 15th day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra. This year, Hanuman Jayanti will be celebrated on April 11.
Described as the son of Vaayu god, Hanuman is known as a devout follower of Lord Ram and was one of the pivotal characters in the epic of Ramayana. On this day, devotees of the god visit temples dedicated to him across the country and offer special prayers and worship to him. Known for his strong will, grit and physical energy, Hanuman was also said to have been able to assume any form. Devotees worship him and his magical strengths to ward off evil and any other troubles that have been affecting them.
People celebrate the festival by smearing a long tilak or paste of vermillion on their foreheads. Many devotees also observe a day long fast to commemorate the day. Apparently, the god was known to be of the colour of vermillion, which is why people smeared the paste on their foreheads on this day. It is believed that divine and celestial bodies came down from to the Earth and modified physical forms of creatures that seemed like apes so these animals could be used as vehicles for gods or the divine beings. It is believed that’s how the orange-red coloured ‘vanara’ race came to being much before the Hindu epic of Ramayana. In the south of India, people celebrate the festival in the Marghazi month. It is believed that Hanuman was born on the moolam nakshatram of the Marghazi month.