Diwali or Deepaawali means a "row of lights." It is a festival of lights symbolizing the vicotry of righteousness and the lifting of spiritual darkness. It celebrates the victory of good over evil - and the glory of light. This festival commemorates Lord Rama's return to his kingdom Ayodhya after completing his 14-year exile. It's also a time to remember Lord Krishna lifting Govardhana Hill with His little finger, to protect His devotees from torential rains sent by Indra.
The day after Deepawali is celebrated as Govadhan Puja when Mount Govardhan, near Mathura, is worshipped. Govardhan Puja, also called Annakut, is celebrated as the day Krishna defeated Indra. Lord Krishna taught people to worship nature, as mountains bring rains to earth. That was the reason to stop worshiping Indra. His was the message that we should take care of our nature. For Annakut a mountain of food is decorated symbolizing Govardhan mountain lifted by Lord Krishna.
Pious people keep awake the whole night and cook fifty-six (or 108) different types of food for the bhog (the offering of food) to Krishna. This ceremony is called ankut which means a mountain of food. Various types of food – cereals, pulses, fruit, vegetables, chutneys, pickles, and salads – are offered to the Deity and then distributed as prasada to devotees.
Devotee cooks: please bring a special food preparation to offer Giriraj before 6:00pm. (And if you don't cook, you could bring fresh fruit!)
“Of all the devotees, this Govardhana Hill is the best! O my friends, this hill supplies Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, as well as Their calves, cows and cowherd friends, with all kinds of necessities - water for drinking, very soft grass, caves, fruits, flowers and vegetables. In this way the hill offers respect to the Lord. Being touched by the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma, Govardhana Hill appears very jubilant.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.21.18)
Bhakti Shastri E-course
Bhakti Shastri E-course in association with Bhaktivedanta college, Radhadesh Belgium
Festival of Colors 2013
Srila Prabhupada says
simply by association with a great saintly person one can immediately make considerable advancement in spiritual life.