Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival

May 1 - July 8, 2018

The festival that sets Franklin Square aglow...

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Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
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The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square returns to Philadelphia’s Historic District with all-new, handcrafted lanterns that illuminate when the sun sets. It’s truly a sight to see.

For more than five weeks, the park will glow with new (read: different every year) handcrafted lanterns constructed by lantern artisans from China.

Lantern designs in previous years have included sea creatures, lions, pandas and mythological creatures.

The History

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is a celebration of light and culture that features artisans from China and the Philadelphia region.

The popular festival welcomed more than 90,000 people from all 50 states and 10 countries to Philly and Franklin Square when it debuted in 2016 for the first time in the Northeast United States.


Admission to Franklin Square will be free during the day, as always. Starting at 6 p.m., the Chinese Lantern Festival becomes a ticketed event. Note that special group rates are available for groups of 20 or more.

Tickets are also available at the festival entrance, but guests are encouraged to purchase tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines. (This festival is very popular.)

A 200-foot dragon is just one of the highlights of the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square.   — Photo by J. Fusco for Tianyu

Don’t Miss

In addition to the stunning lantern displays, the festival features a variety of Chinese entertainment and art, including contortion, acrobatics and plate spinning.

The festival features stunning lantern displays, including a 200-foot Chinese dragon.

Craftsmen set up in booths at different sections throughout the square and sell items that celebrate Chinese culture.

Festival-goers should also check out the abundance of dining options that celebrate classic Asian cooking and American fare.

Thirsty guests can enjoy the Dragon Beer Garden, an alfresco drinking-and-dining space surrounded by huge lanterns. The beer garden opens nightly during the festival with craft beer, cocktails and fare for the whole family.

Folks of all ages are also invited to explore the park and all else that Franklin Square has to offer, such as the popular carousel and mini-golf course.

To learn more about the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, click the button below.

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