Traditional 'Buddhi Diwali' (dark Diwali) festival of Nirmand village in the district began on Saturday evening, which will continue for the next three days.
Across India, Diwali was celebrated on October 23, while villagers of Nirmand are set to celebrate its age-old tradition after one month of the Diwali.
During the festival, people dance and sing folklore related to the epic Mahabharata through the night in front of bonfires.
According to villagers, the mythical reason for the delayed Diwali was that the news of Lord Ram's victorious return to Ayodhya reached late in these parts, due to which it was celebrated late in few remote villages of the state, including Sirmaur, Kullu and Shimla.
Festivities of the 'Buddhi Diwali' start on the first 'amavasya', or new moon of the lunar half, after the regular Diwali.
Pritam Dev, a resident of Nirmand village, said in the district, the festival was celebrated to commemorate the killing of the demons, Dano and Asur, who resided there in form of snakes.
As per tradition, villagers take animals to a nearby temple where the sacrificial ceremony was performed on 'amavasya'. The severed head was offered to the deities and the meat was taken home for cooking but right after the directions of the high court, villagers had shun the animal sacrifice activity and offered coconut to appease the deity.
“Buddhi Diwali festival is our rich cultural heritage, which reminds our epic culture of Ramayana, besides adopting modernity in the festival,” said another resident Joginder Shukla.
“According to the ritual, in day time people dance in long chain according to age and outsiders are not allowed to take part in the dance activity” he added.
In the series of the customary festivals in the district, the fiesta of 'Buddhi Diwali' commenced on Saturday night. During this festival, villagers would make Pahadi cuisines along with MOODA (mixture of wheat grains and bhang).
“It is an ancient festival and celebrated with complete traditional fervour. There are no communal difference in caste and creed in this festival,” said Surinder Singh of Shillai.
Budhi festival is marked by followers of sage Parusharam who is believed to have lived in Himachal Pradesh to worship Lord Shiva.