When - 8 November
All Over India
Goverdhan Puja, or Annakut or Annakoot as it is also known, is a Hindu festival in which devotees prepare and offer a large variety of vegetarian food to Bhagwan (God) Shri Krishna as a mark of gratitude. For Vaishnavas, this day commemorates the incident in the Bhagavata Puran when Bhagwan Shri Krishna lifted the 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. The festival is observed by most of Hindu denominations all over India and abroad. For Vaishnavas this is one of the important festivals. For the Vallabh Sampradaya (Pushtimarg), the Gaudiya Sampradaya of Chaitanya, and the Swaminarayan Sampradaya etc among others. The Annakut festival occurs on the first lunar day of Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of Kartik, which is the fourth day of Deepawali (Diwali), the Hindu festival of lights, and also the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar.