The festival of lights is just around the corner. The sweetmeat shops are full of traditional favourites, and the market places are brimming with all things festive. From fairy lights to the fancy Diwali hampers, Diwali preparations have indeed begun in full swing, and we can barely contain our excitement. This year Diwali would be celebrated on 7th November, 2018. Diwali is preceded and followed by number of festivals. Govardhan Puja is celebrated just a day after Diwali. This year Govardhan Puja falls on 8th November, 2018. The festival is celebrated with immense fervour and gaiety in Hindu households, especially the ones who are great followers of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna is also called Govardhan dhari. The puja is tied to the great legend of Krishna and mount Govardhan. Here's how the Puja is celebrated.
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Govardhan Puja 2018: Govardhan Puja Date and Time
Govardhan Puja is also referred to as the Annakut Puja by the devotees.
This year, Govardhan Puja would be celebrated on 8th November, 2018.
Govardhan Puja Pratahkal Muhurat = 6:45 AM to 08:57 AM
Govardhan Puja Sayankal Muhurat = 3:32 PM to 5:43 PM
Pratipada Tithi Begins = 9:31 PM on 7/Nov/2018
Pratipada Tithi Ends = 9:07 PM on 8/Nov/2018 (Source: Drikpanchang.com)
Govardhan Puja 2018: Significance and History of Govardhan Puja or Annakut Puja
According to the scriptures, the people of Vrindawan used to offer lavish meals to Lord Indra-The God of rain and storm, to make sure he blesses them with timely rainfall and good harvest. Little Krishna found the practice to be too harsh for the small-time farmers, and convinced them to stop making these offerings to Lord Indra and feed their families instead. On not finding his ritualistic offerings, Indra sent down rain and thunderstorm out of anger in Vrindawan. The rains continued for days.
Fearing for their lives, the villagers approached Krishna for help who then asked everyone to proceed to the Govardhan hill. Once there, he lifted the whole hill with his little finger, people trickled under the hill to take shelter from the storm.
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Krishna stood there for seven days, holding the mountain on his little finger without moving. Ultimately Indra had to bow to the might of Krishna and stop the rains. Post this episode, women of Vrindawan cooked 56 dishes for Krishna. It is said that Krishna took 8 meals in a day. Since he stood for seven days without a single morsel of food, the women decided to make up for it with a lavish chappan bhog (a meal consisting 56 items like halwa, ladoos, mishri and peda).
On this auspicious day, several pilgrims go to the Govardhan hill and offer food and delicacies to Lord Krishna. Those who cannot go to the Govardhan hill, offer him the bhog of 56 items in their homes. Devotees celebrate Govardhan pooja by literally offering a mountain of food to Lord Krishna called Annakoot. Some of the common items found in the chappan bhog are makhan misri, kheer, rasgulla,jeera ladoo, jalebi, rabri, mathri, malpua, mohan bhog, chutney, murabba, saag, dahi, rice, dal, kadhi, ghewar, chila, papad, moong dal ka halwa, pakoda, khichadi etc.
There is also a common ritual of making small mounds of cow dung to represent Govardhan Mountain, which is then beautifully decorated with flowers.