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Colombia Just Celebrated Its World Day of Laziness

The rest of the world should have one too!

  • People dressed in pajamas lounge around in beds (complete with pillows and blankets) scattered in the streets of Itagui.
  • The event encourages working people to do nothing but relax all day.
  • It reminds workers about the importance of rest and relaxation, especially with the health risks brought on by stress.

It was quite the sight in the town of Itagui in Colombia. People dressed in pajamas are lying in beds strewn all over the streets. They are surrounded by pillows and blankets, just like their sleeping arrangements in their homes.

The celebration is the closing day of the Festival of Industry, Trade and Culture. It started in 1985 and was created to encourage people who work to slow down.

It’s a day for them to do nothing but lay down and enjoy the comforts of being in bed without having to do anything else.
It’s a celebration to remind workers that stress can kill and therefore it’s important to have some lazy time.
They have a word for that – tranquilo, which means “chill out” in Spanish.
The town of Itagui is known for its thriving commerce, being a busy industrial park.
The fact that the laziness day is held here is quite a nice touch.

Aside from people lounging around in their pajamas, the cultural event also is a music festival. Salsa, blues, jazz, rock, hip-hop, reggae, electronic music – there’s something for everyone. There’s also photo exhibition, painting, and theater.

Carlos Mario Montoya, who started the festival, said, “We wanted to draw attention to the importance in any community of free time and leisure activities.”

While this event may be considered just a novelty for some, Colombians take this seriously because stress CAN actually kill, especially for those with heart problems. According to a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, the combination of stress and severe depression creates a “psychosocial perfect storm.”

Carmela Alcántara, the study’s lead author and an associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, said that “The increase in risk accompanying high stress and high depressive symptoms was robust and consistent across demographics, medical history, medication use and health risk behaviors.”

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