Yesterday I got to attend the Annual Union Square Pillow Fight. I think this one was the fifth one they organized. Turns out that over the last couple of years, the group in charge of this event actually started coordinating it in other cities, so now, we have an International Pillow Fight Day. They have suggestions up on their website for people to organize an event where they live - one of the most surprising ones I saw was "Never ask permission". Apparently the events in Union Square have been conducted all this time without any official permit or license.
The fight itself was sheer mayhem. The square was filled with combatants, a denser crowd than at most music shows I've been to. Swinging a pillow with full force was difficult, so most pillow punches were more like anemic shoves. Which was probably a good thing - many participants chose to ignore the "no feathers" rule. Getting swatted in the head with a heavy feather-filled pillow would probably be somewhat painful. Moishe and I, having obeyed the law, had synthetic pillows which were much lighter, and had almost no momentum when swung.
Some of the people took the fight much more seriously than others. There were guys (and an occasional girl) in elaborate costumes, protective headgear and with multiple pillows swinging. There tended to be some open space around these pillow extremists, as all who were close to them tried to gang up and bring them down.
A couple of hours after the start of hostilities, there was a cloud of feathers, fluff and synthetic filler hovering above the square - it sort of reminded me of the way Sakura blossoms rained down when we were visiting Kyoto last year. I do wonder how all of this gets cleaned up.