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The Second Lines of New Orleans

The Second Lines of New Orleans

New Orleans is a city filled with interesting culture and traditions. Whether it’s the accents, the food, music, buildings or parades, New Orleans represents a city that refuses to fall victim to gentrification or changing their lifestyle to become a tourist hotspot. One of the most interesting traditions of New Orleans is that of the Second Lines.

Second Lines are street parades that are thrown in New Orleans, sometimes at random. They begin with a brass band playing music while walking down the street. In New Orleans, this brass band would be a smaller and more ragtag version of a marching band. This is known as the “main line.” Random strangers follow along forming the “second line.”

Second Lines began in the 19th century and were known as “jazz funerals.” Inhabitants of New Orleans began this tradition of introducing music into funeral processions. They did this as a way to celebrate the life of the deceased, instead of mourning, and to stave off negative spirits as the deceased passed into the afterlife. As a result, clubs were formed that would play music during burials.

Typical jazz funerals followed the fashion of the casket being carried out after the church ceremony and transported to the cemetery. All the while, a brass brand surrounded the procession playing somber, melancholy music. Once the deceased was buried, the band would literally change its tune and start playing hot and pulsating rhythms. The second line followed behind the band waving handkerchiefs and dance. Though New Orleans still holds jazz funerals, the concept of the second line has expanded in how it’s used. These parades have become a way to celebrate big events like a holiday or a New Orleans Saints victory!

Another way that second line parades have expanded is in a for-hire manner. People have been known to pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for these bands to perform at birthdays, weddings, or even corporate events. During these parades, street vendors line the sidewalks selling jambalaya and other local goods.

Second line parades are a tradition from other cultures that the city of New Orleans has whole-heartedly embraced and are a staple of the New Orleans culture. If you’re a visitor to New Orleans, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to witness a random second line parade while you’re there!

3 Ways to Recharge When Stressed

3 Ways to Recharge When Stressed

We all have our rough weeks, some more than others.

Most of us work the standard 9 to 5 Monday through Friday work week, and with any job, there is the expectation of work-related stress. There are sometimes it can be motivating, but other times it can be extremely overwhelming and become a burden, whether at work or in your personal life. The moment you leave your office for the weekend, work becomes the last thing you want to think about. No matter what kind of schedule you have, if work or your personal life has been making you miserable and is a major cause of stress and unhappiness, it is very important to address the anxiety.

Here are three ways to effectively help you remain composed and focused when you’re overworked, and also minimize the impact of pressure on your productivity, work success, and overall well-being.

Bottling up stress and keeping it inside will eventually cause you to completely burst. It’s important that you find outlets to channel and release your feelings of tension and anxiety in a healthy way, rather than lashing out at yourself or others. There are plenty of activities that can satisfy this need and can be done by finding a new hobby or form of entertainment that will ease your mind and body, such as exercise, meditation, reading, gardening, painting, or cooking.

This may be the most important, as your well-being means everything. There are times when work can easily monopolize your life, so you must force yourself to stay in control, even when it’s extra busy. Try eating healthily and get enough rest so you are able to function at full capacity, have enough nutrients, and keep energized. Also take a break every now and then. It might seem counterproductive, but when overwhelmed, it will help put things in perspective, allowing you to return in a refreshed state of mind.

There are limits to the amount of work one person can do, as no one can do it all. When you feel over your head, speak up, ask your supervisors, coworkers, family, or friends for help. Whether at home or work, the quality of your output will decline if you lack the necessary time to get things done right, so doing this will lift a huge weight off of your shoulders when others are there to help.