Kurala Panchami the five-day festival of Kurala Panchami, at this time potter stop all work (potting, farming, and manual labour). Chak puja (worship of the wheels and all the other tools used in pottery making and sculpting) is the major focus of the festival.Just prior to the festival, the women in potters family resurface all the exterior and courtyard walls of their house with a thin layer of mud. Then, dipping the fingers of their right hands in rice paste, they paint the walls in white designs of lotuses, elephants, peacocks, and trees. This custom of painting wall murals is common to rural households throughout this part of Orissa on all important occasions, and the women of each community compete with one another to produce the finest work. The paintings beautify the home in order to entice the Goddess into protecting its inhabitants; intentionally ephemeral, they begin to wear off within a few days.
At community gatherings during Kurala Panchami, village storytellers recite favourite tales from the epics and Orissan legends, and local musicians play far into the night. Aside from honouring each potter’s personal tools, the Muduli kumbharas worship their first ancestor and tutelary deity, Rudrapal (whose mythology resembles that of Prajapati among potters elsewhere).
Book: Gifts of Earth: Terracottas & Clay Sculptures of India