Hanuman's birth: Once Shiva and Parvati, ever the adventurous lovers, decided to transform themselves into monkeys and indulge in amorous games in the dense Himalayan forests. During a climactic moment, the seed of Shiva found its mark and impregnated Parvati. Since they were in simian form it was but natural that the offspring born of such a union too would be a monkey. Not desiring to go against the laws of nature, Shiva directed the wind god Vayu to carry his semen from Parvati's womb, and deposit it into that of Anjana - a female monkey, who at that very moment was praying for a male child.
Another slightly variant version of this story in the Shiva Purana states that when Vishnu once disguised himself as the heavenly beauty Mohini, her charms so impressed Shiva that he could not restrain his seed. Vayu then carried the seed and deposited it into Anjana's womb. There was no question of Shiva's potent discharge resulting in an offspring less than extraordinary and the child conceived under such exceptional circumstances was bound to be especial, and so it was. The resulting bundle of joy was none other than Hanuman, one of the most celebrated and worshipped figures in Indian thought. Two exceptional traits further marked his birth. The first was that unlike ordinary children, Hanuman was born wearing a loincloth. This was an early pointer to his life-long pursuit of a celibate, almost ascetic lifestyle. The other significant occurrence was the presence of elaborate earrings adorning his ears. The latter has an interesting piece of legend explaining it:
At the time of Hanuman's birth, the undisputed leader of the monkey-world was Vali, a strong and powerful ape. When Vali came to know that Anjana was pregnant with a child who was bound to develop into a powerful rival, he decided to end matters in Anjana's womb itself. He created a missile using five metals: gold, silver, copper, iron and tin. When the unsuspecting mother was asleep, he directed the missile into her womb. A normal child may have succumbed to this dastardly attack, but not one born of Shiva's fiery seed. The missile as soon as it touched Hanuman's body melted, and transformed into a pair of earrings. Thus wearing the trophies of his first battle, fought while still in his mother's womb, Hanuman gloriously entered this world.