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June 09, 2023

This year's Chinese Lantern Festival features a dragon tunnel and fortune-telling wall

The celebration of light and culture takes over Franklin Square from June 21 through Aug. 13

Festivals Light Shows
Chinese Lantern Festival Provided Image/Bobbi Sheridan Photography

Philadelphia's Chinese Lantern Festival returns to Franklin Square from June 21 through Aug. 13 with an interactive fortune-telling wall and 100-foot dragon tunnel. Tickets are on sale now.

The Chinese Lantern Festival will illuminate Franklin Square for more than seven weeks this summer, allowing people to wander through tunnels and other light displays. 

The celebration of light and culture runs from Wednesday, June 21 through Sunday, Aug. 13. It features 1,500 handmade creations transformed into 34 lit-up displays. For its sixth year, organizers have added a 100-foot-long dragon tunnel, an interactive fortune-telling wall and plenty of "panda-monium."

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Construction of the lanterns began in late May. For more than a month, artists have welded, lit, wrapped and painted each of the lanterns by hand. 

The festival brings back the iconic 200-foot dragon lantern, a favorite spot for photos. There also will be nightly performances, including jar juggling, jiu-jitsu acrobatics, plate-spinning and the Face Changer, an ancient Chinese dramatic art in which a performer masks in the blink of an eye.

New cultural immersion activities will take place on Friday and Saturday nights at the Franklin Square Pavilion. People can learn how to make dumplings or try folk dancing, among other activities. 

Three folk artists — Yu Xia, Yinou Hu and Shaojia Fang — are visiting the festival from China. They will showcase traditional crafts like aluminum braiding, inner-bottle painting and lantern painting.

Food and drink options include Asian cuisine and American fare. Beer, wine and speciality cocktails are available nightly at the Dragon Beer Garden. 

The Franklin Square Fountain Show, which made its debut during last year's festival, returns with choreographed lights and water. The carousel and mini golf course will be open, with discounted prices for festival goers. 

Tickets range from $22 to $25 for adults and $20 to $23 for teens, seniors and military members. Children ages 3 to 12 can attend for $14. The festival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. daily, with timed tickets required on Fridays and Saturdays. Combination tickets, which include access to other Franklin Square attractions, also are available online or at the door. 

Festival goers can receive special discounts at certain Chinatown businesses by showing their tickets or receipts. 

June 21 to Aug. 13
6 to 11 p.m. | $14-$25 
Franklin Square
200 S. Sixth St., Philadelphia, PA 19102