Lord Hanuman, also known as the God of Vanara (monkey), is one of the most loved mythological characters known for his devotion to Lord Ram. He is as well famous for his strength and power. His steadfast and selfless adoration for his idol have earned him the status of god. Hence, Hanuman Jayanti is celebrated to venerate the Vanara God on his birthday. This auspicious day falls on the 15th day of the Shukla Paksha in Chaitra month.
Hanuman Jayanti in Varanasi is celebrated with great fanfare. The celebration goes on for five continuous days. Several cultural, musical, and social activities are conducted in the city on this day. The entire city gets busy during this festival in performing rites and rituals. Various processions by religious groups are taken out in the city. On this day, Shri Hanumat Sewa Samiti organizes a Dhwaja Yatra. This yatra passes through important areas of the city and ends at the Sankat Mochan Temple. Each and every street of the city turns into a red colour as devotees carry red flags in the procession. Even the shadow of the sky appears red as the procession marches ahead.
Along with the procession, several feasts are also organized in the city that add great warmth and intensity to the celebration. The Sankat Mochan Temple becomes the main attraction on this day as thousands of devotees conglomerate here to bow humbly at the feet of Lord Human. They apply sindoor or vermilion on their foreheads from the idol of Hanuman. The reason behind applying it from the body of Hanuman has a story. When Hanuman saw Sita applying sindoor on her forehead, he asked her the reason. In reply, Sita told him that it was for a long life of Lord Ram. As Hanuman too loves Ram immensely, he smeared the sindoor all over his body.
People go to the Hanuman temple to pay their respect. As a tradition, they perform their ablutions, don new dresses, gather the ingredients for the puja, and complete the ritual. As offering sweets, fruits and home-cooked food is also a part of the ritual, a refreshing smell wafts in the whole atmosphere when devotees offer laddoos (Indian sweet) made in pure desi ghee (clarified butter) to Hanuman.