Goverdhan Puja which is also referred to as Annakut is a festival observed by Hindus after Diwali. On this day, devotees make and offer a great variety of veg foods to their deities as a symbol of gratitude.
Goverdhan Puja is observed on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha which is the bright fortnight in the Hindu calendar during the month of Kartik. For Vaishnavas, this festival commemorates the event from Bhagavata Puran when Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan hill on his figure so that he can provide shelter to the villagers of Vrindavan from torrential rains.
This event is observed to reflect on how the savior protected all his devotees by providing them singular refuge. In the ode of ritual remembrance and to replenish their faith in taking shelter, devotees make a mountain of food, ironically portraying the Govardhan hill.
The festival is celebrated by many Hindu denominations but particularly, it is prominent among the Gaudiya Sampradaya of Chaitanya, the Vallabh Sampradaya (Pushtimarg) and the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.
Rituals Of this festival:
The rituals encompassing the Annakut festival are firmly associated with the customs of the five days of Diwali.
This is the main rites that are followed at the time of Annakut festival. This ritual requires the creation of small mounds of cow dung symbolizing Mount Govardhan. This small mound is enhanced with flowers and then worshipped by circulating around it.