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Photos of the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia, PA

13 Photos that will Make You Want to Visit the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia

The Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia, PA, is held each year in Franklin Square. Begun in 2016, this festival showcases more than two dozen large Chinese lanterns and offers a great look into the culture of this amazing country.

Having personally visited several lantern festivals in Asia, I can attest that the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is amazingly well done and offers an authentic look into these great cultural events.

Entrance to Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

The entrance to the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival on the eastern side of Franklin Square.

The Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia comes to life after dark as the lanterns begin to glow. The highlight of the festival is the 200-foot dragon. Dragons are popular imagery in Chinese culture and seeing such an imposing lantern is both beautiful and impressive.

Dragon at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia

The 200-foot dragon is the highlight of the festival.

The festival in 2018 features 28 different lanterns 1,500 different artworks and utilizes 15,000 LED lights. These pieces of artwork are all quite large including several large tunnels that visitors walk through.

Dragon at the Chinese lantern festival in Philadelphia

Looking through the dragon’s tail towards another Chinese lantern.

Many of these pieces rotate out each year. In fact, only two of the lanterns on display in 2017 returned in 2018. So, if you’ve visited in the past, it’s well worth taking the time to visit again.

Panda lantern at the festival in philadelphia

The panda lantern is one of only two that returned from 2017.

The Chinese Lantern Festival in Philly also features live performances from Chinese performers. Two shows are held Monday through Thursday and three are offered Friday through Sunday. Make sure plan your visit around the show times to make sure you see these great artists at work.

Fish lanterns at the Philly Chinese lantern Festival

The first of several lantern tunnels at the festival.

I also enjoyed the variety of food available during the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival. Square Burger, which has a permanent stand in Franklin Square, offers several Asian themed dishes during the event. There are also several pop-up vendors offering a variety of Asian (not just Chinese) dishes. Visitors can also sip both local and Asian beers and Asian-inspired cocktails at the festival’s beer garden.

Overall, I’d highly recommend a visit to the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia.

Love Philly sign at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia, PA

Even one of Philly’s famous symbols makes an appearance at the festival.

In 2018, the festival is held nightly in May and June. On Sunday through Thursday nights, the festival is open from 7-11pm. On Friday and Saturday nights, it’s open from 6-11pm. Due to the festival’s popularity, timed tickets are required on Friday and Saturday nights.

What to do at the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

Another great lantern.

If you’re looking for something to do after the festival, take a stroll though nearby Chinatown. The lights and atmosphere of this area of town really come out at night, and it’s almost like taking a trip to Asia without leaving Philadelphia.

Dragon at the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

A close-up shot of the dragon’s mouth at the Chinese Lantern Festival.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, visit the festival’s website.

Still not convinced? Scroll down to see even more photos of the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philly. Looking for more? Check out our favorite things to do at Christmas in Philly, our favorite breweries in Philadelphia, and the best places to get an authentic cheesesteak.

A bird at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philly

Flower Lanterns at the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

Another lantern at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A close-up shot of the dragon lantern at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia, PA

Heart lanterns at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philly.
Note: My visit to the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival was hosted by the event. However, the opinions expressed are my own.

Colorful photos of the Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

AUTHOR - Jim Cheney

Jim Cheney is the creator of UncoveringPA.com. Based in the state capital of Harrisburg, Jim frequently travels around Pennsylvania and has visited all 67 counties in the state. Jim has also traveled to more than 30 different countries around the world.

2 Comments

  • Aaron

    One word: stunning! Is this done every year?

    • Jim Cheney

      They have done it every year for the last few. I hope it’s continued in the future as it is quite amazing.

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