Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival 2018

Article written by Alisha Mehta on behalf of Global Philadelphia Association

The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival is a celebration of culture and light that features artists from China and the Philadelphia area. For the third year in a row, the Festival returns to Franklin Square. From May 1 to June 30, 2018, the park in Philadelphia’s Historic District will glow with 28 illuminating, handcrafted lanterns. Returning lanterns include the pandas and the 200-foot long Chinese Dragon. New additions to this year’s festival include an endangered species lantern gallery. In addition to the brightly lit walk-through tunnels, there is a great white shark lantern that guests can walk into through the belly of the shark. The Festival also commemorates the Year of the Dog with its very own lantern. Other lanterns include tropical birds and mythological animals.

Apart from the lanterns, beer, wine, cocktails, and snacks are available at the Dragon Beer Garden and other locations. A few food stalls that serve chicken satay, beef bao, thai tea with boba, sushi, fried rice, and much more are also present around Franklin Square during the Festival.

There are also performances each night that feature a variety of Chinese art and entertainment. Depending on the day of week, the number of performances vary. One performance is called “Face-Changing” - where the performer changes masks quicker than the blink of an eye. Another performance is called “Feet Juggling” where the performer rolls and juggles porcelain bowls, equipment (like a table), or other performers with his or her feet.

In addition, Chinese folk artists showcase traditional Chinese crafts such as inner bottle painting where artists paint on the inside of glass bottles using a special paint brush through the neck of the bottle. Other crafts include aluminum wire weaving, crystal engraving, name painting, and sugar painting.

Tickets can be obtained online at or at Franklin Square when you arrive at the Festival.

Click here to view pictures taken at the Festival.