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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.