Hanuman is a central character in the annual Ramlila celebrations in India, and seasonal dramatic arts in southeast Asia particularly Thailand, Bali and Java Indonesia. Ramlila is a dramatic folk re-enactment of the life of Rama according to the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana or secondary literature based on it such as the Ramcharitmanas. It particularly refers to the thousands of dramatic plays and dance events, that are staged during the annual autumn festival of Navratri in India. Hanuman is features in many parts of the folk enacted play of the legendary war between Good and Evil, with the celebrations climaxing in the Dussehra (Dasara, Vijayadashami) night festivities where the giant grotesque effigies of Evil such as of demon Ravana are burnt, typically with fireworks.
The Ramlila festivities were declared by UNESCO as one of the "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity" in 2008. Ramlila is particularly notable in historically important Hindu cities of Ayodhya, Varanasi, Vrindavan, Almora, Satna and Madhubani cities in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
Hanuman's birthday is observed by some Hindus as Hanuman Jayanti. It falls in much of India in the traditional month of Chaitra in lunisolar Hindu calendar, which overlaps with March and April. However, in parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Hanuman Jayanthi is observed in the regional Hindu month of Margazhi, which overlaps with December and January. The festive day is observed with devotees gathering at Hanuman temples before sunrise, and day long spiritual recitations and story reading about the victory of good over evil.
Hanuman is the central character in many of the historic dance and drama art works such as Wayang Wong found in Hindu communities of Bali Indonesia. These performance arts can be traced to at least the 10th century. He has been popular, along with the local versions of Ramayana in other islands of Indonesia such as Java.
In major medieval era Hindu temples, archeological sites and manuscripts discovered in Indonesian and Malay islands, Hanuman features prominently along with Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Vishvamitra and Sugriva. The most studied and detailed relief artworks are found in Candi Panataran and Prambanan.
Hanuman, along with other characters of the Ramayana, are an important source of plays and dance theatre repertoire at Odalan celebrations and other festivals in Bali.
The first Act to enshrine legal protection for ancient monuments was the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882. This identified an initial list of 68 prehistoric sites, which were given a degree of legal protection (28 sites in England and Wales (of which 3 were in Wales), 22 in Scotland and 18 in Ireland). This was the result of strenuous representation by William Morris and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, which had been founded in 1877. Following various previous attempts, the 1882 legislation was guided through parliament by John Lubbock, who in 1871 had bought Avebury, Wiltshire, to ensure the survival of the stone circle.
The first Inspector of Ancient Monuments, as set up by the act, was Augustus Pitt Rivers. At this point, only the inspector, answering directly to the First Commissioner of Works, was involved in surveying the scheduled sites and persuading landowners to offer sites to the state. The act also established the concept of guardianship, in which a site might remain in private ownership, but the monument itself become the responsibility of the state, as guardian. However the legislation could not compel landowners, as that level of state interference with private property was not politically possible. The Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1900 extended the scope of the legislation to include medieval monuments. Pressure grew for stronger legislation. In a speech in 1907, Robert Hunter, chairman of the National Trust, observed that only a further 18 sites had been added to the original list of 68. 'Scheduling' in the modern sense only became possible with the passing of the Ancient Monuments Consolidation and Amendment Act 1913
When Pitt Rivers died in 1900 he was not immediately replaced as Inspector. Charles Peers, a professional architect, was appointed as Inspector in 1910 in the Office of Works becoming Chief Inspector in 1913. The job title 'Inspector' is still in use.