The birth of Lord Hanuman, the Vanara God, is celebrated as Hanuman Jayanti by the entire Hindu community. An ardent devotee of Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman is worshipped for his immense passion and dedication to the Lord. The Hindus consider Lord Hanuman as a symbol of strength, energy and unfathomable devotion. An important festival of the Hindus, Hanuman Jayanti is commemorated by visiting Hanuman temples and worshipping him. Apart from offering pujas and prayers, people also take up fasting on this occasion.
How To Observe Hanuman Jayanti Fast
Hanuman Jayanti Vrat, also known as Hanuman Jayanti Upvaas, is observed on the Chaitra Purnima day, that is, a full moon day in the Chaitra month of the Hindu calendar. While in Maharashtra and other western parts of India, Hanuman Jayanti Vrat is observed on the day prior to Hanuman Jayanti, people in North India fast on the actual Hanuman Jayanti day. Unlike most Hindu fasts and vrats that are practiced by women, Hanuman Jayanti Vrat is observed mostly by men, particularly the wrestlers and body builders. Preparations for the festival and fast begin early in the morning. Homes are thoroughly cleaned and idols, body or pictures of Lord Hanuman are purified. These are then smeared with Sindoor and a lamp is lit next.
Prayers are chanted and sweets and bananas are offered. Devotees recite the Hanuman Chalisa. Depending upon the caliber of a devotee, the Chalisa is repeated several times. The recitation of Hanuman Arati, or Aarti Bajrangbali Ki, marks the end of the prayers. People who opt for observing vrat or upvaas on Hanuman Jayanti keep it from sunrise to sunset. However, people who observe a partial fast consume fruits and milk, with some exceptions of eating Sabudana Kihichdi. The fast is broken by offering puja in the evening or visiting a Hanuman Temple in the neighborhood. However, there are devotees who end their fast only on the next day in the morning.