Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the next day of Diwali, the festival of lights and holds a very significant place among Hindus. There are many legends associated with this festival, so read on to know all about Gowardhan Puja and also about the beautiful rituals and customs that take place on this day.
Significance Of Govardhan Festival
Govardhan Puja is celebrated to commemorate the occasion of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan Parvat (mountain) on his little finger to save the people from the wrath of Lord Indra (the rain God). On the day of Govardhan Puja, a figure made of cow dung is built which is then decorated with flowers and worshipped by one and all with devotion. This incident is done to replicate the event of Krishna lifting the Govardhan mountain to save the people from the lashing rains caused by Lord Indra, to prove his supremacy over Lord Krishna.
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Annakoot: The Ritual Performed On Govardhan Puja
Annakoot (the mountain of food) is the part of this celebration. Basically, people cook a mixed vegetable curry and call it Annakoot, on this day. However, this ritual involves preparing large amount of food as offering to Krishna. The variety of dishes prepared on this day can be as many as 80 - 100 dishes. Later, people place these food items around the cowdung figure that represents the Krishna & Govardhan hill, and offer prayers to it. They move around the hill in a circle chanting Krishna Mantras and singing Krishna Bhajans.
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Govardhan Puja Celebrations Region Wise
In Maharashtra, Govardhan Puja is celebrated as Padwa or Balipratipada. This day is to celebrate the visit of King Bali back home as per the boon bestowed on him by Lord Vishnu. Also, this day marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya, which is known as Padwa or Varsha Pratipada.
In the state of Gujarat, this day is celebrated as new year’s day as Vikram Samvat starts on this day.
Another important ritual performed on this day is the Gudi padwa ritual. On this day, husbands gift their wives beautiful items and wives thank them by applying tilak on their forehead and praying for the long life and prosperity of the family. The day also witnesses occasion of visiting in-laws for elaborate meals. These customs have been followed for ages and are celebrated with much zest and fervor.
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