Howardhan Puja (25/10)

Govardhan Puja is celebrated on one of the days of the Diwali holiday, mainly in the North of India in honor of the raising of Mount Govardhan by Krishna. According to legend, the people of Gokul used to celebrate this festival in honor of God Indra and worship him after the end of the monsoon season.

One day, young Krishna stopped them from sacrificial prayers to God Indra, who, in terrible anger, sent a flood to Gokul. The people were terrified that the downpour was their punishment for disrespecting Indra. But God Krishna assured that no trouble would touch them. He lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger and saved the people and animals from the rain. After that, Krishna received the epithet Govardhandhari, and God Indra recognized the superiority of Krishna.

Govardhan is a small hillock in Braj, near Mathura. On this day of Diwali, the people of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar build mounds of cow dung, decorate with flowers and worship them.

This day is also called Annakut, which means mountain of food. Devotees stay awake the entire previous night and prepare 56 or 108 different kinds of food to offer to Lord Krishna. In temples, especially in Mathura and Nathadwar, the deities are bathed in milk baths, dressed in brilliant dresses adorned with diamonds, pearls, rubies and other precious stones.

After prayers and worship, various sweets are laid out in a kind of mountain in front of the deities, then the faithful approach the Food Mountain and take some of the consecrated food from it.