Officials have put the brakes on some popular Chinese New Year events in big cities in the wake of Shanghai's deadly Dec. 31 stampede.

Shanghai has canceled its lantern festival at Yu Garden that draws up to 3 million people over the seven-day holiday, which this year starts on Wednesday, the eve of the Lunar New Year.

In Beijing, crowd-drawing karaoke has been yanked from a traditional temple fair, and authorities have asked stores to notify police of any sales.

The safety measures are a response to the stampede at Shanghai's glitzy riverfront in which 36 people were crushed to death.

Some observers have complained that the measures dampen the festivity of the holiday.