Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival 2019 Opens in Franklin Square

The festival runs May 1-June 30. This year, there is more to see and more hands-on activities.

Chinese Lantern Festival 2019 in Philadelphia's Franklin Square.

Twenty-nine larger-than-life, illuminated sculptures take over Philly’s 7-acre Franklin Square as part of the Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival, opening today. In addition to the return of favorites like the 200-foot-long phoenix and a walk-through dragon tunnel, visitors can expect all-new lanterns and light-design techniques. Featuring 2,000 lanterns adorned with 20,000 LED lights, each installation is handmade using traditional Chinese methods. Interactive elements like lit-up swings and a fortune-telling wheel are particularly popular with little ones.   

After the kids snap selfies by the sculptures, enjoy authentic cultural performances (think jar juggling, martial arts and tai-chi demos); check out Chinese folk art, from aluminum wire weaving to stone carving; visit the Dragon Beer Garden, open nightly; and try Asian cuisine.

If you’ve been to the festival before, this year’s iteration is well worth another visit. With more to view and a larger number of hands-on activities, this is a great opportunity to immerse the kids in Chinese culture and enjoy an evening of family fun.

Admission is $18-$20 for adults (depending on the day) and $12 for kids. Franklin Square is located at 200 N. 6th St., Philadelphia PA 19106.

Chinese Lantern Festival 2019 in Philadelphia's Franklin Square.

Fun facts, provided by Franklin Square

Most of the lantern materials were created in China especially for the event and sent via 20, 40-foot cube containers on a ship to the United States.

The lanterns were assembled by a 30-person team of artisans from China over a month period in the square.

The glowing phoenix lantern is longer than three school buses and weights 6,000lbs. Standing 200 feet long and 21 feet high, the wings were installed by a crane with a 15-person crew.

The lanterns are created by hand on silk fabric stretched over steel frames and then lit with thousands of LED lights.

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