Hanuman Jayanti marks the birth date of Lord Sri Hanuman. Hanuman is considered to be the 11th rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. Lord Hanuman is known to be a symbol of strength and energy. He has the ability to guide people and provide victory over evil. Devotees recite Hanuman chalisa which has the ability to conquer the evil spirits and grant peace to the mind.
Lord Hanuman was born to Anjana who was an apsara born on earth due to a curse and Kesari who was the son of Brihaspati. Anjana was childless and prayed to Lord shiva for 12 long years. Pleased with her devotion, Lord Shiva granted them a son. According to another legend, Lord Hanuman is called the Wind God. When Anjana was praying to Lord Shiva for the child, King Dasharatha of Ayodhya too was praying for children. King Dasaratha received a sacred pudding to be shared by his three wives. By divine intervention, a kite snatched some of the pudding in the hands of Anjana when flying over the place where she was praying. When Anjana consumed this pudding, she gave birth to Lord Hanuman. Hence, he is known as the son of Vayu.
Lord Hanuman dedicated himself to Lord Rama and Sita Devi. It is believed that if one wants to approach Lord Rama to eradicate all the sorrows, it shall happen through Lord Hanuman. On the day of Hanuman Jayanti, devotees visit Hanuman Temples and apply sindoor and tilak on their foreheads. Lord Hanuman smeared himself completely with the Tilak to gain the immortality of Lord Rama. Devotees observe fast on this day until sunset. People visit Hanuman Temples and chant Hanuman Chalisa. Since the chalisa is 40 verses long, one can chant it 108 times a day. In the states of Telangana and Andhra, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated for 41 days. It is believed that Lord Hanuman would alter his physical form and approach his devotees. Hence people feed bananas to monkeys or offer the same to Hanuman idols. Milugu vada is the main naivedyam prepared on this day.