15 Nov Govardhan Puja festival
Govardhan Puja has always been my favorite Vaishnava festival. Even before I got the children. And now, with the children, I find it the most creative and pleasing festival to celebrate with them. There is no fasting, only feasting. A lot of sweets is a must. And making a Govardhan hill is an adorable, creative process for the whole family, including the youngest.
We usually make a Govardhan Hill of earth and sand in the courtyard. Most of the time, it happened that a day of celebration is sunny and warm, although it is late autumn in our part of the world. But this year, it is colder than usual, and we decided to shift the celebration inside the house. Children made a Govardhan Hill of kinetic sand and the play dough. I am still in my felting inspiration, so, and I made it out of wool. Also, we are going to make a drawing of Govardhan as a part of a school.
In addition to creating 3D shapes of Govardhan Hill, for which we can use earth, sand, clay, or play dough, we can include other art forms such as collage. We can use paper, cardboard, fabric scraps, autumn fruits such as leaves, twigs, acorn caps to make this collage. We can help the children with gluing because, for some materials, you need to use a hot glue gun. If you have a group of children, it could be an inspiring collaborative project as well.
Yesterday the children made some sweets for today`s offering – laddhu and sandesh. Today we are going to have some more work in the kitchen, making a feast together. Usually, we make a drama play on this day – I play Nanda Maharaja and Lord Indra, and children play Krishna, residents of Vrindavan, and the cloud Samvartaka. But, a few days ago I got an idea to make a shadow puppet show in the evening instead. Let`s see what is going to be the inspiration at the moment…
For discussion on the story of how Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill, we have started to highlight the importance of cow protection, which is going to be our topic for the next week, until the Gopashtami. We were talking about demigod worship and why Krishna does not recommend it in Bhagavad Gita. My son gave a sweet answer to that question – he said that Krishna does not want us to get tired of worshiping many demigods when they are all part of Him anyway, so it is easier we worship only Him!
I wish you all a happy, joyful, inspiring, playful, and sweet Govardhan Puja festival with your children!