On the following day after Diwali, Padwa and Govardhan Puja is performed. There is an ancient story attached to this ritual which dates back to thousands of years ago. Lord Krishna instigated the people of Vrindavan to perform this puja for the Govardhan Mountain which provided them with food, shelter and protection in every manner. Since then, on this day Govardhan puja is celebrated by every Hindu to mark and honor the day when it was performed first by the people of Vrindavan.
This year, Govardhan puja is going to be performed on the 31st of October. It is celebrated on the fourth day out of the five day Diwali celebrations. The historical significance of this puja holds a legend which involves Lord Indra who is believed to have gotten offended when the people of Gokul town stopped worshipping him and instead performed puja for the inanimate Govardhan Mountain on the instructions of Krishna. Lord Indra tries to submerge the town to take revenge for his insult, but Lord Krishna saved the cattle and the people of Gokul by lifting the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger. Henceforth, a blessing was bestowed on it that it would be worshipped and honored for years to come. Ever since, this tradition of offering puja to Mount Govardhan on the fourth day out of the five day celebration of Diwali has been a benchmark for all Hindus to follow religiously. In the Indian towns of Nathadwara and Mathura, huge crowds of people gather at the temples where the deities are bathed according to rituals and customs and thereafter they are adorned with new clothes and ornaments.
Another legend which is associated with this day is the observance of ‘Padwa’ as Vikram Samvat which had begun from this day onwards. On this day too, people wear new clothes and jewellery. They greet their friends and relatives also exchange sweets and gifts amongst them.