Now in its 4th consecutive year, the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival transforms Philadelphia’s Franklin Square into a dreamlike garden for two months, filling it with massive lantern displays that celebrate the cultural traditions of China.
The 2019 festival features 29 all-new displays consisting of 2,000 individual lanterns illuminated by over 20,000 LED lights. The sculptures were built on site by 30 Chinese artisans who have had the skills passed down from generation to generation, using materials created in China and shipped to the United States specifically for the event.
Notable displays include a walk-through dragon tunnel, a 50-foot-tall Dancing Fairy lantern, and a collection of pandas performing everyday activities such as riding bikes or playing mahjong. In honor of the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Pig, the festival also features a Golden Pig sponsored by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation and three smaller pigs designed by students in the Philadelphia region. The centerpiece is a 200-foot-long phoenix, which weighs over 6,000 pounds and is made up of 70 individual pieces. Other, more interactive elements include an illuminated swing set, fortune-telling wheel, and a pair of Instagram-worthy Angel Wings.
The festival offers nightly performances by dancers, martial artists, contortionists, and other acts, as well as live demonstrations and artwork for purchase by Chinese folk artists. Joining the park’s Square Burger food stand for the duration of the festival are the Great Lawn Grill and Leaping Fish Noodle House, which will be serving up traditional Asian fare alongside a selection of regional craft beer and creative cocktail options found in the Dragon Beer Garden.
Throughout the duration of the festival, visitors are also encouraged to bring their admission tickets or receipts to participating restaurants in Chinatown to redeem special offers and discounts as part of a Panda Promotion.
The 2019 Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival runs through June 30 and is open daily 6 p.m. – 11 p.m. Tickets range from $12-20 depending on day of visit and age of visitor.
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) is the official tourism promotion agency for the City of Philadelphia globally and the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center.