International Pillow Fight Day

pillowfight15_storiestoldbycamerapillowfight4_bessie-smithInternational Pillow Fight Day celebrates its 6th year in 2013. Happening on the first Saturday in April, it has now taken over the world, with pillow fights in over 30 cities around the world. How it generally happens:  People converge in a set location (generally a public square or park), carrying pillows and often wearing pajamas, and at a set signal from the organizer, start pelting each other with feather pillows.  The free-for-all battle continues for 2-3 hours, until pillows have no feathers…Then clean-up, and more fun . . .

There’s nothing more liberating than pelting everyone around you, friends and strangers alike, with a pillow.  It’s a chance to laugh nonstop for at least 30 minutes (or until you need to stop and catch your breath, as pillow fighting is quite a workout).  And if you’re not interested in joining the pillow melee, the people-watching can be just as fun.  Many pillow fighters arrive dressed in style, wearing pajamas, bunny ears, masks, and/or all of the above.

pillowfight12_chris-sistapillowfight7_chris-sistaThis world-wide event is not just living proof of how effectively the internet can be as an organizing tool, but also what a difference two individuals can make.  The Urban Playground, the brainchild of Kevin Bracken and Lori Kufner, is “officially” organized by Newmindspace, a company they both founded in 2005.  Based in New York and Toronto, Newmindspace hosts and organizes free massive events in cities around North America.  Besides the International Pillow Fight Day that’s now observed with public pillow fights in over 30 countries around the world, Newmindspace has organized a Glow Battle at the World Electronic Festival, Urban Capture the Flag; and Past events include a Glow Battle at the World Electronic Festival, Urban Capture the Flag, Blanket Forts, Bubble Battles, and Subway Parties.

The mission of the Urban Playground Movement is to organize non-commercial public events and unique happenings in public spaces.  “One of our goals is to make these unique happenings in public space become a significant part of popular culture . . . pillowfight17_chris=sistapillowfight1_timothy-norrisImagine that in any large city, anywhere on the face of the earth, there may someday be free, fun, massive public events like pillow fights, creative interventions, games, and interactive art installations on every day of the year . . . Imagine that in the future, we will be united by our drive to live free, fun public lives! That is the era we dream of.”

The Pillow Fight allows us to forget for a brief moment about being serious adults, to laugh and play freely.  It’s inspiring to see individuals use their creativity to promote fun interactions between people, and to bring more smiles.  Here are some photos of past pillow fights in L.A.  Hope to see you at the next one!

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