Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the day after Diwali. Govardhan Puja is also known as Annakut puja or Guajarati Happy New Year. Govardhan Puja is celebrated with joy in all across the India but especially in Mathura and Vrindavan.
At some places in India such as the Maharashtra it is celebrated as the Bali Pratipada or Bali Padva. It is celebrated in regards of the victory of Vamana (incarnation of the Lord Vishnu) over demon King Bali. It is considered that King Bali was booned by the Lord Vamana to be very powerful. Gujaratis considers this festival as their new year.
Legends of Goverdhan Pooja
According to the Hindu epic and legend, the "Vishnu Puraan", the people of Gokul, Mathura used to worship Lord Indra for providing them with rains. They believed that it was him who blessed them with the rains for their welfare. But Lord Krishna explained to them that it was mount Govardhan (a small hillock situated at Braj, near Mathura) who caused the rain and not Lord Indra, so the mount should be worshipped and not Lord Indra. So the people followed Lord Krishna and started worshipping mount Govardhan. It is considered that the Govardhan Mountain was lifted by the Lord Krishna in order to save the life of people from the arrogant Indra. Lord Indra was throwing thunder and a lot of rain over the earth and lord Krishna had saved the millions of life by lifting the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger.
Traditions and Celebration of Goverdhan Pooja
Govardhan is also known as 'Annakut' which literally means 'Mountain of food'. It is a custom to prepare fifty six or one hundred and eight varieties of dishes to offer to Lord Krishna. This offering is referred to as 'Bhog'. In temples the deities are given milk bath and dressed with shining attires and are embellished with precious jewelries of gold, silver, diamonds and other dazzling ornaments.
People make the hillock of cow dung in a round boundary and devotees worship lord Govardhan, these cow dunk hillocks are considered as Govardhan Mountain. They put Roli tika or sweets and do Aarti by lighting Diyas and then pray to god Govardhan just to save their life as always.
Diwali is the long festival of five days and Govardhan Puja falls on the fourth day of Diwali celebration that is just after the Diwali night. It is an old tradition of this festive day to bestow love and affection towards our loved ones by exchanging gifts and goodies and for that no matter how far people are living nowadays they never miss to send Diwali gifts to India online. This way one can make the day special for their loved ones even staying miles away.
When is Govardhan Puja 2017?
The Day falls just after the day of main Diwali celebration and this year Govardhan puja is on 20th October 2017.