Annakuta literally means "a hill of food." This festival was observed by Madhavendra Puri, a contemporary of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, when he discovered the Gopala deity at Govardhana, Vrindavana. On this day devotees offer Krishna large quantities and great varieties of vegetarian food.
The day after Diwali is referred to as Annakuta, or Govardhana Puja. On this day the inhabitants of Vrindavan (Lord Krishna's abode on Earth) traditionally held a harvest festival in honor of the demigod King Indra who provided the rains essential for the harvest.
One day, however, Lord Krishna convinced the inhabitants of Vrindavan to honor Govardhana Hill instead, whose fertile soil provided the grass upon which the cows and bulls grazed, and to honor the cows and bulls who provided milk and ploughed the lands. Outraged, Indra retaliated with terrifying thunderstorms. Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, calmly responded by lifting Govardhana Hill with the little finger of his left hand. For seven days and seven nights the Lord held up Govardhana Hill, providing an umbrella to shelter the inhabitants of Vrindavana from the torrential downpours. Realizing the futility of his actions, Indra finally appeared before Sri Krishna with folded hands, offering prayers of supplication. In this way Lord Krishna demonstrated that he is Deva Deva, Lord of the demigods, and that the purposes for which demigods might be worshiped could easily be served simply by worshiping Him, the cause of all causes.
This day is also significant as the day on which, several thousand years later, Srila Madhavendra Puri established a temple for the self-manifest Gopala Deity on top of Govardhana Hill.
To celebrate this festival, devotees build a replica of Govardhana Hill made of various opulent foods, worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhana Hill, worship the hill as His incarnation, and worship the cows and bulls which are dear to the Lord.
At the end of the festival, the hill of prasada (sanctified food) is distributed to the public. All Vaishnava temples in India observe this ceremony, and hundreds of people are given prasada according to the capacity of the temple.
The auspicious month of Damadara
The auspicious Month of Kartik, more popular as the Month of Damodara, is here once again heralding the spiritually enlivening 'Festival of Lights'.
Mother Yasoda bound little mischievous Krishna with ropes to the grinding mortar for having stolen butter and thus He came to be known as Damodara. The significance is in that the Lord of the Universe can be bound only by the rope of pure love.
The Kartik Month is the period when the enchantingly beautiful child Krishna starts playing this sweet pastime of stealing butter.
During thus Damodara month, devotees get the opportunity to personally offer Arati to Lord Damodara with ghee lamps and sing the very enchanting 'Damorashtakam', to receive the special mercy of the Lord.
The Glories Of Kartik month
"Pure devotional service to Me which, because it places Me under My devotee's dominion, is very difficult to attain, is easily attained by following this vow in Mathura during Karttika."
"In the month of Kartik, which is very dear to Sri Hari, one who bathes early in the morning attains the merit of bathing in all places of pilgrimage. Anybody who offers the Lord a ghee lamp in the month of Kartik, O brahmana, becomes free from all kinds of sins, such as killing a brahmana, and he goes to the abode of Lord Hari." (Brahma Khanda).
In the month of Karttika, one should daily worship Lord Damodara and sing the Damorashtaka (the eight prayers of Lord Damodara) which pleases Lord Damodara, written by the sage named Satyavrata. - (HARI BHAKTI VILASA 16/198)
The Damodarastakam is sung daily during the month of Karthik. Damodar is one of Krishna's names. When he was a baby, his mother Yashoda tied him to a milk churn to keep him from troubling neighbours, stealing their butter and causing general havok with his brother Balarama. Only the love of a mother can bind the Lord in such a way and Damodarastakam prays that we can bind the Lord in our hearts in such a way.
The prayer/bhajan can be found in the Padma Purana of Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa, that was spoken by Satyavrata Muni in a conversation with Narada Muni and Saunaka Rishi. It is a prayer for love of God, the goal of Bhakti Yoga and all Vaishnavas.
(1) To the Supreme Lord, whose form is the embodiment of eternal existence, knowledge, and bliss, whose shark-shaped earrings are swinging to and fro, who is beautifully shining in the divine realm of Gokula, who I (due to the offence of breaking the pot of yogurt that His mother was churning into butter and then stealing the butter that was kept hanging from a swing) is quickly running from the wooden grinding mortar in fear of mother Yasoda, but who has been caught from behind by her who ran after Him with greater speed-to that Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, I offer my humble obeisances.
(2) (Seeing the whipping stick in His mother's hand,) He is crying and rubbing His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes are filled with fear, and the necklace of pearls around His neck, which is marked with three lines like a conch shell, is shaking because of His quick breathing due to crying. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, whose belly is bound not with ropes but with His mother's pure love, I offer my humble obeisances.
(3) By such childhood pastimes as this He is drowning the inhabitants of Gokula in pools of ecstasy, and is revealing to those devotees who are absorbed in knowledge of His supreme majesty and opulence that He is only conquered by devotees whose pure love is imbues with intimacy and is free from all conceptions of awe and reverence. With great love I again offer my obeisances to Lord Damodara hundreds and hundreds of times.
4 varam deva moksam na moksavadhim va na canyam vrne 'ham varesad apiha idam te vapur natha gopala-balam sada me manasy avirastam kim anyaih