Significance of offering feast to cows on Govardhan puja

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Govardhan puja or Annakut is celebrated on the first lunar day of
Shukla Paksha (bright fortnight) in the Hindu calendar month of
Kartik, which is the next day of Deepawali, the festival of lights.

According to the Bhagavata Purana, forest-dwelling cowherds living
close to Govardhan mount used to celebrate the autumn season by paying respect to Indra, the God of rain and storm. Shri Krishna asked the
villagers to worship Mount Govardhan instead with the reason that
Mount Govardhan is the one that provides natural resources to the
villagers for their livelihood.

Indra on seeing this lashed the city with thunderstorms and torrential
rains. To protect the people from the storms, Shri Krishna lifted the
Govardhan mount on his little finger and provided shelter to all the
people and cattle of the city. Villagers paid their respect to the
Mount Govardhan by preparing a great offering of foods and delicacies.
Krishna then assumed the form of a mountain himself and accepted the
villagers’ offerings.

While on the first three days of Deepawali, devotees offer prayers to
invite greater wealth into their lives, the annakut day (fourth day)
is a day of offering our gratitude for everything that the god has
bestowed on us. Since Krishna was a cowherd in his childhood & the
cows feed us with their nourishing milk, devotees all over the world
show their gratefulness towards this gentle animal on this day by
offering food to them.

Symbolically, an image of Govardhan mount is created using cow dung &
devotees circumambulate & offer food to this hill.

Reference –

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