Introduction: The birth anniversary of lord Rama’s ardent devotee Hanuman is celebrated as ‘Hanuman Jayanti’ all over India. This devotee of Rama was a Vanara-Raj (Monkey King) whose unflinching devotion had made him immortal as any other deity.
Occurrence: This festive eve falls on the full moon day (Poornima) of the Hindu month ‘Chaitra’ on ‘Shukla Paksha’ (especially in Maharashtra and Karnataka). But as varied regions are there as religious almanacs say varied things too. Some of these suggest that Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated on the fourteenth day (Chaturdashi) on the dark fortnight of Ashwin month whereas some advocate it to be fallen on the bright fortnight of Chaitra month.
The day of Anjaneya or Hanuman’s birth is celebrated in the month of Margazhi (From 15 December to 14 January) in south Indian state ‘Tamil Nadu’ and ‘Kerala’ since he was born on Moola Nakshatra in the morning of the new moon day of the month Margazhi .
The first day of Baisakha month (falls on 14 or 15 April) is also believed to be the birth day of Hanuman is Odisha where people celebrate it as an eve of ‘New Year’ (i.e. Maha Vishuva Sankranti).
The tenth day of Bahula Paksha or Krishna Paksha falling in the month of Vaishaka is also become the moment of religious significance as the birth-anniversary of Hanuman is celebrated on this day in Andhra.
Legend: As per mention in the sacred books of Hindu religion, a thousand years ago of Treta Yug (when lord Vishnu incarnated as lord Rama on the Earth) some divine cosmic forces visited pious earth and induced some genetic changes in the body of apes via evolutionary methods for the sake of their own convenience. Thereby, they utilized them as objects of transportation. This genetic mutation led to evolution of red-faced apes. Hanuman belonged to the same evolved community of apes appearing reddish-orange in colour. Hence, all statues resembling Hanuman look saffron in colour while erected in temples.
Religious significance: The anointment placed before the sculpture of the deity is saffron in colour as of the similar colour as Hanuman used to be. Devotees anoint saffron coloured ‘tilak’ on their forehead after paying their pure reverence and devotion to the deity during worshipping.
The session of preaching and discourse begins in the morning that lasts till evening in the temples. The conch is blown marking the end of the spiritual discourse and Prasad is offered to deity which is, afterwards, distributed among the celebrants present in the temple.