In a peculiar annual tradition, Montenegro has launched its “laziest citizen” competition, where participants spend nearly 24 hours a day lying down on mats. The contest, as the name suggests, aims to determine who can have the longest “bedtime” and remain lying down the longest.
This unusual competition takes place in the resort village of Brezna in northern Montenegro. It commenced in mid-August and has now reached its 26th day, with only seven out of the original 21 contestants still in the running. The grand prize at stake for the winner is $1,070 (approximately ₹88,000).
Under the competition’s rules, participants can sleep, attend to their food and drink needs, read books, and use their phones while lying down. However, sitting or standing up is considered a violation. Contestants are permitted 10 minutes every eight hours to visit the restroom.
Last year, the record for lying down was set at 117 hours, but this year’s competition has extended well beyond that, lasting 26 days and counting.
Dubravka Aksic, the 2021 champion, expressed that all participants are feeling good without any health issues, as they receive proper care while remaining in a reclined position.
The competition was originally launched in Montenegro 12 years ago as a playful parody to challenge the stereotype that Montenegrins are lazy, as explained by Radonja Blagojevic, one of the organizers. Currently, seven contestants out of the initial 21 remain in the competition, having collectively spent 463 hours lying down.
Traditionally held beneath a maple tree, this year’s event was relocated to a wooden shack due to adverse weather conditions. Reuters reports that the competitors are in good health thus far, receiving the necessary care and attention during the contest.