Chinese Lantern Festival in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square beginning May 1 and running through June 30, 2019

The spectacular Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square is a celebration of light and culture that features artisans from China creating magnificent steel-framed and silk-wrapped giant lighted sculptures, using traditional Chinese methods.

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The 2019 Festival will illuminate Franklin Square at 6th and Race Streets in Historic Philadelphia from May 1st through June 30th. Bigger than ever before, 30 larger-than-life illuminated displays made of 2,000 individual lanterns and 20,000 LED lights in brilliant colors will glow in the Square. All of the lanterns will be new for the 2019 Festival, including new lighting design techniques.

Highlights feature a 200-foot long phoenix (different from previous years' giant dragon), a walk-through dragon tunnel, mythological creatures created from small glass bottles filled with colored water, and a host of interactive installations such as lit swings and a fortune-telling wheel. The lanterns are installed all around the seven-acre Square, and guests stroll under, around, and through the displays each evening.

In addition to the gorgeous light installations, festival-goers will witness authentic cultural stage performances, including the unusual and fascinating face-changers. Visitors can taste Asian cuisine and American favorites, drink a toast at the Dragon Beer Garden open nightly, and shop for Chinese folk artists' crafts created on site as well as Festival-themed merchandise. Guests can also play Philly Mini Golf, ride the Parx Liberty Carousel (additional tickets required for both).

The Franklin Square Playground will continue to be open and free both daytime and during evening hours, accessible from 7th Street, and for festival-goers from inside the park. The lanterns are able to be viewed for free during daylight hours, while a ticket is required for nighttime entrance. The Festival will be open daily from 6 to 11 PM.

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival Student Design Contest gives area youth the opportunity to design a lantern for the 2019 Festival. Children ages 8 to 14 are invited to submit a drawing of a pig to celebrate the Year of the Pig. Lantern artists from China then bring the winning drawings to life and create an actual sculpture based on the students' designs. Submissions are due March 25th. More information is available at Student Contest.

Photo by J. Fusco for Tianyu

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February 10, 2019

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