Diwali in Himachal Pradesh is called Buddhi Diwali and the unique thing about this is that it is celebrated almost a month later. This year the celebrations will start on the new moon day on November 25, 2012.
Buddhi Diwali is mainly celebrated in Ani and Nirmand in Kullu district, Shillai in Sirmaur district and Chopal in Shimla district. Its considered a festival of animal sacrifice.During the three day festival, locals dance and sing folklores related to the epic Mahabharata. It is also associated with the battle of the Mahabharata as it is said to have started on the first day of Buddhi Diwali.
In Kullu district, the festival is celebrated to commemorate the killings of demons Dano and Asur who resided there in the form of snakes. As per tradition, villagers take animals to a nearby temple where the sacrificial ceremony is performed on amavasya. On this day, hundreds of goats ,sheep and buffaloes are sacrificed. The severed heads are offered to the gods and deities and each animal’s body is taken home for cooking. The feast is shared among villagers.
During Buddhi Diwali, people buy bangles, sweets, new clothes and decorate their homes. However animal sacrifice still remains the main ritual as they believe that the sacrifice of reared livestock would ensure the year round prosperity and protection from natural calamities.