Get to Know the Meaning of Tianyu’s Lanterns

The use of lanterns can be traced back thousands of years in Chinese culture. They were originally used to honor Buddha and celebrate prosperous times in China’s history. Today, they can be made in any shape or form and are used to represent animals, environments, and other aspects of our customs and traditions. Tianyu Arts & Culture, Inc. (Tianyu) chooses what lanterns to create and feature at partners’ festivals based on several factors, including Chinese heritage and visitor interest.

The dragon is considered the most powerful symbol in Chinese culture, with supernatural powers and the ability to control cosmic forces. Dragons are also thought to be signs of good luck, and according to legend, we are descendants of the mythical creature. Panda bears are also a prominent Chinese symbol, recognized across the globe, representing peace and friendship, making them incredibly popular lanterns at festivals.

Visitors to Tianyu’s festivals also look forward to viewing The Temple of Heaven, a replica of an ancient structure dating back to the 15th century. It is now preserved as a tourist attraction outside Beijing’s Forbidden City, but visitors can also see a lantern replica on display in Philadelphia, from June 21 to August 7.

In addition to having culturally symbolic lanterns, we work closely with partners to identify what their guests enjoyed seeing the most to determine what lanterns to create and include in festivals moving forward. Attendees are surveyed at Tianyu’s partner events to determine which lanterns were their favorite.

We collaborate with partners to create themed festivals and develop exhibits that line up with their missions. For example, we have lanterns featuring endangered species for zoos and museums. We have displays of various plants and insects for botanical gardens, and traditional Chinese lanterns to teach visitors about Chinese culture.

As the largest lantern festival producer in North America, we pride ourselves on the quality and quantity of festivals we produce each year. Our main goal is to guarantee a unique and fun experience for every visitor, and bring smiles to the faces of everyone who visits each year.