Govardhan Puja is celebrated on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha in the month of Kartik as per Hindu calendar. It is celebrated on next day of Diwali, the ‘Festival of Lights’. The festival has its own significance. It is largely believed that Lord Krishna taught and convinced people to worship nature, specifically Govardhan, the mountain that offers green grass to the cows, fruits and vegetables to the villagers and many other things that are of immense importance in day to day life.
After listening to Lord Krishna, people started worshipping Govardhan and the God of Rain, Indra got angry. He then started showering heavy rain in the village of Vrindavan that leads to heavy floods and catastrophic situations. Lord Krishna and Indra had a battle where Govardhan Mountain saved the villagers from the wrath of Indra and Krishna won. The festival is celebrated thereafter each year on the following day of Diwali.
Lord Krishna asked the villagers to worship the great Mountain as the fertile land of the mount grows delicious fruits and vegetables. Also, the cows produces milk only after grazing on the green grass that grows on the fertile soil of the Mountain. The residents of Vrindavan village were then convinced to worship Govardhan, the same way they used to worship Indra in the yester years.
The festival is celebrated in traditional manner in Haryana, Punjab, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. People use to build a mountain with cow dung that symbolizes Mount Govardhan. The hillock is then decorated with flowers. Then the Pooja is performed as per rituals and beliefs. In Gujarat and Haryana, the day is also celebrated as New Year as the beginning of Vikram Samvat.
In some regions of the country, the festival is also known as Annakut which means the heap of grains. People use to make a mountain of food and decorate it for puja, this mountain symbolizes Govardhan and is worshipped thereafter. Mainly, the festival is celebrated by Hindu community as per the rituals they use to follow from ancient times.
Vishwakarma Puja is also celebrated on the same day the festival Govardhan Puja is celebrated. It is considered an important day for primary sector as well as the manufacturing units. People use to worship the tools they use in their day to day life such as hammer, tractors, sickle, etc.