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October 20, 2017
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The day after Diwali is celebrated as Annakuta or Govardhana Puja. On this day the inhabitants of Vrindavan used to hold a festival to honor King Indra, who is responsible for providing the rains required for a successful harvest. On this day food made of cereals like rice, wheat, curry made of gram flour and leafy vegetables is cooked and offered to Lord Krishna.
When Is It Celebrated?
Most of the time Govardhan Puja day falls next day after Diwali Puja and it is celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra. According to Hindu calendar, Govardhan Puja celebrated during Pratipada Tithi of Kartik month. On Hindu calendar, depending on starting time of Pratipada, Govardhan Puja day might fall one day before on Amavasya day and sometimes there might be one day gap between Diwali and Govardhan Puja.
Most of the time Govardhan Puja day falls on Gujarati New Year day, which is celebrated on Shukla Paksha Pratipada of Kartik month according to Hindu calendar. Govardhan Puja celebrations could be done one day before Gujarati New Year day depending on starting time of Pratipada Tithi.
How It Is Celebrated?
On this day, devotees make a form of Govardhana Hill with the heap of cow dung, a hill of food and decorate it with flowers to worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhana Hill. People make a variety of Bhog present to Lord Krishna. Idols of the God are bathed in the milk and dressed in new clothes as well as jewelry. Then the puja is performed through the traditional prayers, Bhog, and aarti. At the end of the festival, the Prasada is distributed to the public. All Vaishnava temples in India and all over the world celebrate this day, and hundreds of people are fed with Prasada according to the capacity of each temple.
Govardhana is celebrated all over the India by decorating the temples of Lord Krishna and preparing a lot of events and after puja foods are distributed among the people. By having Prasad and touching their head to Lord Krishna’s feet people get blessings of the God.
People of Mathura and Gokul celebrate this day with great pleasure and enthusiasm. After starting from taking a bath in the Manasi Ganga and puja of Manasi Devi, Brahma Kunda, and Harideva devotees make round called as Parikrama of mountain Govardhana. There are eleven Silas on the way of Govardhana Parikrama having their own special significance. People offer Puja to all of them.