New Orleans: the city of noise silenced by coronavirus

New Orleans – home of jazz and the world famous Mardi Gras – is usually a joyous, extravagant place. Music, culture and prayer have always fused here. But the virus has hit the New Orleans area hard, recently claiming the life of jazz legend Ellis Marsalis Jr.

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So how does a city renowned for its noise and celebration, cope with a disease that’s brought so much silence, sobriety and loss?
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Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual Lenten sacrifices and fasting of the Lenten season. Carnival celebrations, begin on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany and culminate on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is known as Shrove Tuesday.

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New Orleans is a Louisiana city on the Mississippi River, near the Gulf of Mexico. Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” it’s known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Embodying its festive spirit is Mardi Gras, the late-winter carnival famed for raucous costumed parades and street parties. 

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