Celebrated on the fourth day of Diwali, Govardhan Puja is acknowledged by especially three sampradayas namely, Vallabh sampradaya, Gaudiya sampradaya and the Swaminarayan sampradaya. Also, known as Annakut (Mountain of Food) is performed from the day since Lord Krishna in Bhagavata Puran lifts up the Govardhan hill for the protection of the people from torrential rains and defeats Lord Indra, in Vrindavan. People make and offer a wide variety of vegetarian food to the idols of Paramatma, as a mark of gratitude. They also build hillocks of cow-dung and perform parikrama around that hillock. In some of the parts of India, it is celebrated in remembrance of King Bali and thus known as ‘Padva’ or ‘Bali Pratipada’.
It takes place on the first lunar day i.e; month of Kartik. In 2018, Govardhan Puja will be celebrated on 8th November. This puja will include three pujas: Gowardhan Parvat, Annakut and Gau Puja.
Govardhan Puja signifies the importance of mother nature, as an integral practice in Hinduism. It spreads the message of preserving the precious and vulnerable natural resources so that not only the present but also the future generations can live a sustainable life. Thus, Lord is thanked for His gift in the form of grains. It is also believed that worshiping Govardhan brings wealth, prosperity and fortune. Worshiping cow fulfills the desires and eliminates the sins committed by our ancestors.
· Anna-Koot- Devotees to pay their homage to Lord Krishna prepares ‘Chappan Bhog’ i.e; 56 delicious dishes. Especially, this takes place in Mathura and Nathdwara offering milk bath, new clothes and dazzling diamonds, pearls to the deity. Deity is then worshiped with flowers and sweets followed by distribution of Annakut as Prasad to the people.
· Padwa- This day is also known as Bali-Padyami symbolizes when King Bali came out of ‘Patal Lok’ and entered ‘Bhoo Lok’.
· Gudi Padwa- Among Hindu rituals, Gudi Padwa holds a very significant position as on this day wife performs aarti of his husband, garlands him and pray for his longitivity and in return gets a gift from husband for her care.
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