Govardhan Puja is an important Hindu festival that is dedicated to Lord Krishna. In the Hindu calendar month, it falls in the month of Kartik on the first lunar day of the ‘'Shukla Paksha’' while it is the first day in the Vikram Samvat calendar. This is also the day following the festival of Diwali, or Deepawali, the festival of lights. Govardhan Puja is also called the Annakut festival.
Govardhan Puja 2020
In the year 2020, Govardhan Puja falls on 15 November, Sunday.
Mythology of Govardhan Puja
Govardhan Puja celebrates the mythological story of Lord Krishna lifting up the hill of Govardhan to provide shelter to villagers from the torrential rains that were lashing the area. The festival is celebrated as an act of gratitude to Lord Krishna to this day. It is a symbol of taking refuge in the Lord in a time of crisis and how Lord Krishna never fails to help his devotees in times of need. The story is also a warning to respect the forces of nature and to always remember that, as human beings, we are dependent on Mother nature and should be grateful for all the blessings bestowed on us.
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Govardhan Puja Rituals
The rituals associated with Govardhan puja are varied according to the different sects in Hinduism. In some states, Lord Agni, Indra, and Varuna, the gods of Fire, Thunder, and the Oceans, are also worshipped on this special day. There are special rituals associated with this day some of which are as given below:
- A pile of cow dung, shaped like the mountain Govardhan, is made on this day and is decorated with flowers. The pooja is done offering water, incense sticks, fruits, and other oblations. This is done either in the early morning or late in the evening.
- The animals such as bulls and cows that help people in agriculture are honored on this day.
- The mountain, known as Govardhan Giri, is worshipped as a god in its own right on this day. A model is made from cow dung and is placed on the ground. A clay lamp is placed on it on which several oblations are made such as crystallised sugar, honey, curd, milk, and the waters of the river Ganga.
- Lord Vishawakarma, the god of skilled craftspeople, is also worshipped on this day. Offerings and poojas are done for machines in industries and machineries in factories.
- Feasts called ‘'bhandaras’' are organised in temples all over the country and distributed as prasad to the followers.
- An important aspect of the Govardhan pooja is making revolutions around the mountain made of cow dung that represents the hill of Govardhan. It is done by simultaneously hailing the god Govardhan. After the necessary revolutions are completed, barley is sown on the ground.
- Annakoot is also prepared on this day, which is a combination of various cereals, as an offering to Lord Krishna.
It is believed that the mountain of Govardhan is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in the district of Mathura. For this reason, lakhs of devotees visit the Govardhan Parvat and make revolutions around the mountain to seek the blessings of Lord Krishna and express their gratitude.
List of Monthly Holidays 2020