Let us take some time out to know the significance of Diwali Padwa / Gowardhan Pooja, which is the fourth day of Diwali.
The fourth day of Diwali is Diwali Padwa or ‘Kartik Shuddh Padwa’ and ‘Gowardhan Puja’. It is said that only on this day, King Bali would come out of Pathal Loka to rule Bhulok, as per the boon granted by Lord Vishnu. It also marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya. Newly-married women are invited with their husbands to her parent’s home for special meals and gifts.
Govardhan-Puja is mostly performed in North India. Govardhan is a small hillock in Braj, near Mathura. According to legends, Lord Krishna stopped the people of Gokul from celebrating a festival in the honour of Lord Indra, which resulted in Lord Indra’s wrath. He sent a deluge to submerge the entire village of Gokul. The people feared this destruction, however, little Krishna assured them that no harm would come to them. He lifted Mount Govardhan with his little finger to shelter people and animals from the rain. Indra later accepted the supremacy of Krishna and stopped the deluge. People of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar make hillocks with cow-dung, decorate them with flowers, and worship them.
This day of Diwali is also observed as ‘Annakoot’, which means mountain of food. People keep awake the whole night to prepare 56 or 108 different types of food for the bhog (offering) to Lord Krishna. After the prayers and traditional worship numerous varieties of delicious sweets are ritually placed in the form of a mountain before the deities as “Bhog”, after which the devotees approach the mountain of food and take them in the form of prasad.