Goverdhan Puja, or Annakut is a Hindu festival in which devotees prepare and offer a large variety of vegetarian food to the murtis of God as a mark of gratitude. The Goverdhan festival occurs on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik. Govardhan Puja is a Hindu festival that is celebrated a day after Diwali. It is also referred to as the Annakoot Puja by the devotees. Devotees prepare lavish food preparations consisting of 56 items called Annakoot to please Krishna.
Govardhan Puja celebrated as the day when Lord Krishna defeated God Indra this day commemorates the incident in the Bhagavata Puran when Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill to provide the villagers of Vrindavan shelter from torrential rains.
The incident is seen to represent how God will protect all devotees who take singular refuge in him. Devotees offer a mountain of food, metaphorically representing the Govardhan Hill, to God as a ritual remembrance and to renew their faith in taking refuge in God. On this day food made of cereals like wheat, rice, curry made of gram flour and leafy vegetables is cooked and offered to Lord Krishna.
On this day Families create an image of Giriraj Govardhan mountain from cow dung, adorning it with miniature cow figures as well as grass as twigs, representing trees and greenery, fifty-six food items (chappan bhog) are typically prepared and offered in the evening.Someone from a cow-herding caste officiates the ritual, circling the hill with a cow and a bull, followed by families in the village.
On this day, people also decorate their houses with diyas and flower petals. People light diyas (oil lamps), decorate their houses with rangoli, coloured rice and flower petals.There is also a common ritual of making small mounds of cow dung to represent Govardhan mountain and which is then beautifully decorated with flowers.
This year the Govardhan Pooja would be celebrated on 20th October 2017. Here is the Puja Muhurat for the same
Govardhan Puja Pratahkal Muhurat = 6:12 a.m to 8:29 a.m
Govardhan Puja Sayankal Muhurat = 3:22 p.m. to 17:39 p.m