It is celebrated largely in North India to commemorate the birth of the monkey god, Hanuman, during Chaitra. It marks a symbolic acceptance of the human race's peaceful co-existence with nature and the worship of an animal.
Hanuman Jayanti is a festival to celebrate the birth of Hanuman the famous “monkey” Deity worshipped throughout India. Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated during the month of Chaitra (March/April) to venerate Hanuman who was an ardent devotee of Rama. Hanuman is the embodiment of strength, energy and resourcefulness. He is able to assume any form at will, wield rocks, move mountains, jump through the air, and even hides in clouds. In folk tradition he is a deity with magical powers who has the ability to conquer evil spirits. During Hanuman Jayanti devotees visit temples and apply markings (tika) of reddish powder (sindhur) to their foreheads.This is considered to be good luck. According to the legend, while Sita, the wife of Rama, was applying sindhur to her head, Hanuman asked her why and she replied that this would ensure a long life for her husband. Hanuman then smeared his entire body with sindhur to ensure Rama’s immortality. For this reason you often see Hanuman covered in a particular orange kind of powder. Religious programs are organized in most Hindu temples and on this day Hanuman Jayanti is often celebrated with the recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa, forty verses praising Hanuman taken from the Rama Charit Manas. This chalisa may be recited 108 times taking many hours.
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