Hanuman Jayanthi is celebrated by the Telugu speaking people in a unique way with the 41-day Hanuman Jayanti deeksha. Lord Anjaneya is worshipped for 41 days starting from the Hanuman Jayanti on the full moon day in the Chaitra month. In 2014, the deeksha begins on April 15. Hanuman Jayanti is on May 23. The Hanuman deeksha or diksha (penance) is observed by thousands of people in Andhra Pradesh.
Some Hanuman devotees form groups and undertake yatras to the pilgrim centers during the last one week of the deeksha. Many devotees like to complete the diksha period in an important temple dedicated to Hanuman.
Hanuman Deeksha is a vratam quite similar to one observed during the Sabarimala Mandalam season by Ayyappa devotees. During the 41-day diksha period, Anjaneya devotees conduct special pujas at home and abstain from liquor, meat, smoking and sex. The devotees wear special Hanuman deeksha mala, orange dhoti and walk without footwear during the Vratam period.
The 41-day penance ends with a visit to important pilgrim centers or temples in Andhra Pradesh dedicated to Hanuman or Lord Ram like the Bhadrachalam Rama temple, Vijayawada Kanaka Durga temple or the Kondagattu Hanuman pilgrim center in Karimnagar District.
During the 41 days of deeksha period, free community lunch is hosted for devotees at various Hanuman and Vishnu temples.