Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival In Franklin Square

Dragon - Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia

Dragon – Photo by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia

‘A Celebration of Light & Culture’ 

If you missed it last year, be visually inspired as visitors will get to experience the Chinese Lantern Festival again at Franklin Square in Historic Philadelphia May 9 to June 18.

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

The square will come alive and glow with 29 new larger-than-life illuminated displays such as a huge 200-foot Chinese dragon, pandas, sea creatures, mythological creatures and more. These displays were created using traditional Chinese methods with thousands of LED lights in brilliant colors.

Most of the lantern materials for the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square will be created in China especially for this event and sent via ten containers on a ship to the United States. The lanterns will be assembled by a 20-person team of artisans over a one-month period in the Square. The public is invited to view the process and progress on select days in April for free.

Background on Chinese Lanterns and Lantern Festival

Traditionally, the Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar marking the last day of the lunar New Year celebration dating back nearly 2000 years. In 2017, the date falls on February 20. Due to the cold winters in Philadelphia, it’s been decided to hold the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square in the spring, allowing visitors to enjoy more time with them outside, and incorporating symbols of spring into the design.

In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones. In modern times, lanterns have been embellished with many complex designs such as the ones on view at the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square. The prominence of red in the designs symbolizes good fortune.

The festival also promises nightly entertainment with awe-inspiring performances such as acrobatics and folk dancing, as well as taste Asian cuisine and American favorites, drink a toast at the Dragon Beer Garden, and shop for artists’ creations crafted on site. Visitors will still be able to play mini-golf, ride the carousel and more.

Chinese Lantern Festival


Franklin Square 200 N 6th St (6th & Race Streets) Philadelphia, PA 19176


May 9 – June 18, 2017


Sunday – Thursday  |  6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Friday & Saturday  |  6:00 pm – 11:00 pm


At set times above, this is a ticketed event: $17 per adult  |  $12 for those 17-years-old and under  |  FREE Ages 2 & under  |  Nighttime admission includes daily live performances. Tix go on sale April 3 - TICKETS: Get Tickets Now!

Web Site

Photos by Jeff Fusco for Historic Philadelphia, Inc. and Tianyu

Jeff Belonger

Jeff Belonger has been in the mortgage industry for 19+ years and now wants to do something different. With his experience of blogging and social media, Jeff wants to share all of what Philadelphia has to offer, so he created At MyPhillyAlive, we want to share the excitement that the City of Philadelphia resonates. Sharing the passion within, from the people of Philadelphia. At MyPhillyAlive, we’ll be talking about Philadelphia restaurants, fun bars, the city night life, the history of Philadelphia, Philly attractions & events, the arts, sports, and much more. We want people to add their experiences regarding Philadelphia, even if they are from out of town, which can be done on our Facebook fan page as well. At the end of the day, we want to be different from the many Philadelphia sites. We want our site to be easy to navigate, while at the same time, we want you to not only find the hot spots, the best things to do in Philadelphia; but those hidden gems within the city. Thanks...

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