Beijing banned cars for a nationwide celebration; the result is a lesson for all of us

China decided to celebrate 70th anniversary of its victory in the World War II with an enormous parade.

Victory Day began with a huge military parade through Beijing on 3rd September. 12,000 troops in 50 unique military formations and hundreds of fighter jets were a part of this massive celebration.


Veterans and soldiers from age 20 to 102 years old participated in the parade. The training for the parade was so intense that some officers even reported to have lost 10 pounds or more.

beijing parade

Beijing had put various restrictions on its people. Hundreds of factories were asked to be locked, and half of the 5 million registered cars were banned from driving. For the first time, a government has made the best decision about a grand celebration.

beijing parade 2

The air quality in Beijing had drastically improved on the day of parade. The sky was clean and so blue!

bleak sky

On an average day, Beijing is at 160 out of 500 on the Air Pollution Index. Of course, this doesn’t do any good to anybody’s health. On the day of parade it dropped to only 17. The result was a clear blue sky.

However, the next day things were back to normal with a lot of pollution in the air and a bleak looking sky. The Air Pollution Index went back to 160.

Here’s the difference between the two days that can be spotted easily in these pictures.

Beijing during the victory day!

gorgeous blue sky beijing

Beijing in June.

bleak sky beijing

Beijing a week after the parade.

the air

The difference is real and speaks a lot about how much polluted we create the environment for us. Instead of taking the wheel, we all could make a difference by opting public transport and bikes to commute. What happened in Beijing is a great learning for every nation to make the environment friendly and good for breathing. So do you consider skipping the car today and taking the bus to work to contribute to the environment we share with every nation and every person beyond within and beyond our boundaries?

All images source