Cary NC International Events: NC Chinese Lantern Festival “Lights Up the Town”

One of the most popular Cary NC International Events will be running through January 12. Given the town’s rich culture and diversity, the popular Chinese Lantern Festival has become a Koka Booth Amphitheatre favorite among residents annually.

The Only of Its Kind Across the Entire Southeast

In addition to the impressive lights on display, you also see incredible feats and some very talented performers at the Festival

This annual favorite among Cary NC International Events is the only festival of its kind across the entire Southeastern United States. In actuality, the North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival hosted at Koka Booth is just one of three of its kind in the whole country. The other cities hosting similar events are Columbus, OH, Little Rock, AK, and Indianapolis, IN. 

The length of time for each Chinese Lantern Festival varies depending on location. The Cary NC International Events actually began the weekend of November 22. However, there are plenty chances to enjoy the NC Chinese Lantern Festival. It will continue running every Tuesday-Sunday at Koka Booth Amphitheatre starting at 6:00 p.m. In addition, these Cary NC International Events will take place on two Mondays as well in its last month of operation. These will be December 23 and 30. 

New Displays and Facts on the NC Chinese Lantern Festival

Cary-NC-International-Festival-Preston Retreat

Cary is the only town in North Carolina and just one of four nationally to host this type of event.

The Cary NC International Events at Koka Booth Amphitheatre feature over 20 displays that are new to the festival this year. Additionally, over 25 Chinese artisans and performers will be displaying their spectacular hand-made lanterns at the Festival.

Cary NC International Events: Fun Facts About the NC Chinese Lantern Festival

  • The spectacular Chinese Dragon lantern is longer than three school buses and weighs 18,000 pounds. Standing 200 feet long and 21 feet high, the dragon floats on Symphony Lake in Cary. Fun fact: its head was installed by crane with a 15-person crew!
  • Visitors enter the festival through huge scarlet lantern gates, in the form of a four-story pagoda with spinning upper floors.
  • Creators of the lantern craft them by hand on silk fabric. They stretch the fabric over steel frames. 
  • Lanterns will be exclusively made for this event. Once ready, they ship into the North Carolina Ports all the way from China.
  • It took 19 tractor-trailers to deliver this year’s lanterns. That’s up from 13 in the first year, and 15 last year.
  •  Zigong, the third largest city in Sichuan, China is the “lantern capital of China.”
  • Celebrations for traditional Chinese lantern festivals take place on the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar. This marks the last day of the lunar New Year. This tradition dates back 2000 years!
  • In ancient times, lanterns were fairly simple and only the emperor and noblemen had large, ornate ones. In modern times,  complex designs such as the ones on display in Cary are more common.
  • The prominence of red in the designs symbolizes good fortune

For more information on this year’s North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, visit Koka Booth Amphitheatre’s official site at