Govardhan Puja or Annakut is celebrated on the fourth day of the five day festival of Deepawali or Diwali, the festival of lights. This day is celebrated to commemorate the defeat of Indra, the king of gods by Lord Krishna as Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan hill. This day is celebrated in the month of Kartik according to Hindu calendar and lies on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha which means bright fortnight. According to legends of the old, Lord Krishna tried to teach people to worship God, the Supreme Controller of nature especially the mountain Govardhan, as it is a manifestation of Lord Krishna himself, and stopped the worship of Lord Indra, the God of Rains. For this festival decoration of food is made in the form of a mountain which symbolizes the Govardhan mountain and is said to be lifted by Lord Krishna to protect the people from Lord Indra’s wrath by making rain to flood the area as he was the one in charge of rain. In states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana this pooja is performed with great zeal, devotion and enthusiasm. In the states of Rajasthan and Haryana, the building of cow dung hillocks is a tradition as it symbolizes the Mount Govardhan, this was the mountain lifted by Lord Krishna. After making artificial Govardhan people decorate these cow dung Govardhan with flowers and then worship them by honoring the real mountain. They move all-around these cow dung hillocks offering prayers to Lord Govardhan, it is an important part of the celebrations of Diwali.
In the state of Maharashtra, it is celebrated as the occasion of Padva or BaliPratipada, this day commemorates the great asura King Bali, men gives gifts to their wives on this day. You can present your wife with Gifts for her or Gifts for your spouse. In the state of Haryana and Gujarat, it’s celebrated as Hindu New Year or Vikram Samvat which starts on this day. In several parts of India, Vishwakarma Puja may also be celebrated on this day and this day follows Diwali, which is also in the Hindu month of Kartik on the first Lunar Night of the Shukla paksha. Vishwakarma Day is generally marked as an official holiday and people take leave from schools, factories, farms and other workplaces mainly for most manufacturing and primary sector units. This day may be celebrated by the worship of tools used in daily life; may it be a hammer, a sickle or a tractor and others it doesn’t have any religious boundaries. According to legends, Vishwakarma, was the mythical architect of the Gods, and he engineered great kingdoms like Lanka of Kubera, Dwarka of Krishna, and the Swarg, or Heaven of Indra. He is also the patron God of all architects and engineers.
This day is observed as Annakoot which means mountain of food, devoted people awake for the whole night and make food of fifty-six or 108 different types for the bhog or offering to Lord Krishna. In temples specifically in Nathadwara and Mathura, the deities are bathed by milk and dressed attires which shine with equally dazzling ornaments of pearls, diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. After many prayers and worship in the traditional ways many varieties of tasty and delicious sweets are raised ceremoniously to display a mountain of food for the deities as offering and devotees take Prasad from it.