China's Shanghai cancels lantern festival after stampede

GMT 05:16 2015 Thursday ,15 January

Arab Today, arab today China's Shanghai cancels lantern festival after stampede

Beijing - XINHUA

Shanghai is calling off its famous Lantern Festival light show at a historical site, to avoid large gatherings and ensure public safety. It came in the wake of the deadly New Year's eve stampede. Not just in Shanghai, Many major public events across the country have been cancelled.
This is the Spring Festival light show at Yuyuan Garden in downtown Shanghai. A twenty-year-oldannual celebration cherished by both locals and tourists. This visual feast will be no more for the coming Chinese New Year.
"Taking into account a combination of factors, such as security and management, we decided not to hold the 2015 Yuyuan lantern festival light show," says Zhang Yan, Yuyuan Tourist Mart.
The cancellation comes after a stampede that killed 36 people on New Year's Eve in Shanghai.
Authorities and tourism boards have been told to beef up safety measures and emergency response plans.
Many Shanghai residents agree calling off the event is a reasonable measure in the short term. But there's no hiding the disappointment.
"The show has a history of twenty years, it's a pity for everyone to not have it this year," says a woman.
"I feel pretty upset about the cancellation. I was looking forward to it this year, but now there no chance to see it. It's not quite clear if this is going to be permanent," says a man.
Yuyuan Garden light show isn't the only event to get the cut amid a slew of measures to address safety concerns.
Two other similar Spring festival activities met the same fate at the city's Guyi Garden and Fangta Garden.
Meanwhile, the organizing committee for Shanghai Automotive Exhibition announced show girls will be banned from this year's event
A move, as some observers said, to reduce the number of visitors. This wave of cancellation is also hitting other cities nationwide. Beijing has called off the annual Vertical Marathon. And many retailers in the city have been asked to stop promotion events. In Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, a pop singer's concert, was canceled one day before the performamce. All because the public security department raised safety standards for large-scale events.
Many say it's understandable to stop tragedy from repeating. However, cancelling all events by no means is the ultimate answer to a safety crisis.


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