“There was for the Jews light and gladness, happiness and honor,” says the Scroll of Esther after the events of Purim unrolled, while the ancient Persian city of Shushan “rang with joyous cries.”While there was still a definite Purim buzz about town in the modern city of Jerusalem on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the celebrations were somewhat subdued. The Jerusalem Municipality cancelled its traditional Purim events, including the renowned Purim party in the Machane Yehuda market, the family celebration event at Kikar Safra in front of city hall in downtown Jerusalem, and the street party in Nachlaot. Indeed, at the usually buzzing First Station complex close to the German Colony, there was only a smattering of families by mid-morning, in contrast to the usual throngs witnessed there on other holidays, while events put on there before noon were sparsely attended. “It’s the saddest Purim in Jerusalem ever,” said Yinon, who lives with his wife Dikla and their three children in the capital's Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, and usually attends the Kikar Safra celebrations.“There’s nothing to do, all the events are cancelled,” he said despondently, although his children appeared to think that ice cream they had picked up was adequate compensation, for the meanwhile. Hadas from Beit Hakerem with her two daughters dressed in sparkling Frozen costumes, concurred that it was a “somewhat sad Purim,” but said that she was making the best of the situation. She said she was not unduly concerned about the virus, saying that as a nurse she has to deal with “a lot worse in hospital” wards, although added that her Purim had been made even more difficult since her husband was in quarantine, having returned from a conference in Germany. Asaf Saloman, a tour guide from Jerusalem’s Katamon neighborhood, said that compared to recent years, unofficial celebrations on Tuesday evening were visibly smaller, albeit still quite well attended – but that in Jerusalem’s city center many restaurants were largely deserted Wednesday morning. Despite this gloomy atmosphere, synagogues around the capital were still thronged by worshipers going to hear the Scroll of Esther read, and large numbers of people dressed in flamboyant costumes, as is de rigueur on Purim, could be seen streaming to and from the houses of worship on the morning of the holiday. And in the ultra-Orthodox Bayit Vegan neighborhood, spirits were as high as ever, with revelers dressed nattily in their Purim costumes and dancing raucously at a central square, although the whiff of alco-gel hand-wash was a prevalent aroma on the streets.One shopkeeper in the neighborhood said that nothing much had changed despite the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country, adding that he had not witnessed any panic buying of supplies such as has been seen elsewhere. Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahum lamented that the municipality had to cancel its traditional events and said that the celebrations had definitely been more subdued than previous years. “This is the reality, but everyone is in quiet admiration for how the country is dealing with the coronavirus, despite the way it is hitting the economy and destroyed the tourism industry for the next few months,” Hassan-Nahum told The Jerusalem Post. “But next year in Jerusalem, we’re going to do it bigger and better, and we’ll make sure we make up for this year,” she pledged.