City workers and university students alike discharge the pressures of daily life in a night of live music and a whirlwind of pillows on Christmas day (December 25).
Now in its seventh year, the pillow fight falls around Christmas in Shanghai each year and was designed as a creative outlet for releasing stress and marking the holiday season.
Steven Tao, the founder and mastermind behind the epic pillow fights, said that the annual stress release was important for young people facing pressures from work and school.
"Many young people in city have a fast pace of life and have a lot of pressure. We offer this relaxed environment for them to release pressure, adjust their moods and relax their minds," he said.
Around one thousand participants held pillows above their heads as organizers counted down before the 10 minute fight which saw pillows and feathers flying through the air.
A university student, Chen Yue, said the experience was so exciting including finding herself the target of pillow-wielding opponents.
"It's a great feeling when I am hit by others. It's a pillow fight. It's impossible that you are always hitting others. Sure you will feel great when you are hitting others but you will feel enthusiastic and energitic when hit by others. It will inspire your ambition and you will want to hit it back," she said.
The Creative Party Network, the organizers of the soft combat events, had outlined more than 10 rounds of pillow fights with distinct variations in rules, but soon learned it was impossible to break the keen warriors apart once engaged.
Zhou Wei said that it was good to finally break out in sweat after long hours in the office all year.
"I feel finally to have a chance to release myself after holding for a year. It's a kind of soft violence to release some sadness and discontents in a year without hurting others. It feels like a flood breaking the dam after finding a crack. I feel entirely free," he added.
A ticket to the pillow fight night at a local stadium in Shanghai cost around twenty-four US dollars.