The All-New Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival Returns This Spring And Summer

Nearly 30 incredible lantern creations light up the Historic District during this nine-week celebration of light and Chinese culture...

The wait is almost over! For the third consecutive year, the magnificent Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival returns to get Franklin Square glowing from May 1 to July 8.

At the festival (which has been extended to nine weeks for 2018!), 1,500 individual artworks made of more than 15,000 LED lights form 28 stunning lantern displays.


  • The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square returns from May 1 to July 8.
  • Twenty-eight stunning lantern displays fill the historic park.
  • The festival also features Chinese performance art, crafts, food, a beer garden and more.
  • Tickets are on sale now and range from $12 to $18.

Aside from the 200-foot-long Chinese dragon and the playful pandas from last year, every luminous, silk-sheathed lantern creation is brand new.

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival dragon lantern
(Photo by J. Fusco for Tianyu)
The 200-foot-long dragon lantern from last year returns to dazzle visitors once again alongside 27 other lantern displays.

The Festival

Chinese artisans use traditional methods to craft the intricate handmade lanterns that light up Franklin Square in Philadelphia’s Historic District for this exciting celebration of Chinese culture and light.

Additions to the festival this year include an endangered species lantern gallery — crafted using lighting technology that has never been seen before in the United States — and an elephant lantern that guests can interact with by hopping on a bike and peddling to change its colors.

Also new this year, guests can stride directly into the bright belly of a massive great white shark lantern via a walk-through tunnel. Other lanterns commemorate the Year of the Dog, mythological animals and tropical birds.

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival
(Photo by J. Fusco for Tianyu)
New displays this year include an endangered species lantern gallery, a walk-through great white shark lantern tunnel and an elephant lantern that changes colors as guests pedal a bicycle.

Cultural performance artists specializing in face changing, plate spinning, jar juggling and more entertain visitors each night. Traditional handcrafts demonstrations — including aluminum-wire weaving, flute making and sugar painting — also take place every evening to further showcase Chinese arts and culture.

The popular Dragon Beer Garden returns this year as well, offering American and Asian-inspired bites, craft beer, wine and cocktails.

Note that festival hours differ depending on the day. From Sundays through Thursdays, the fest runs from 7 to 11 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays, the grounds open at 6 p.m. and close at 11 p.m.

Also important: Timed tickets are required for entry on Fridays and Saturdays. Guests can enter 15 minutes prior to the time on the ticket or anytime after and stay as long as they wish.

Purchase tickets online here.

Stay tuned for more on this exciting eight-week spring festival in Philadelphia’s Historic District!

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square

When:May 1-June 30; Sundays to Thursdays: 7-11 p.m.; Fridays & Saturdays: 6-11 p.m.
Where:Franklin Square, 200 N. 6th Street
Cost:$18, adults; $15, seniors and military; $12, youth


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  1. Hi. I have tix for this Saturday the 5th. It is now supposed to rain all night. What will happen to my tix? Can I exchange them to be used another day?

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