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Chinese daydreamers compete to see who can last the longest without talking and using their mobile phones

People took part in a “daydreaming contest” in northeastern China this week to see who can relax the longest without using their mobile phones.

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Participants in the event held on Sunday and Monday were told to sleep or relax in deck chairs in a park in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, from 9.30am to 7.30pm without talking or using any electronic device, local newspaper Xinwanbao reported.

But they were allowed to open their eyes, stare at the sky and eat and drink. The event was hosted by Xinwanbao’s social media team.

One winner was chosen on each day, with the individual chosen entering a lottery in the event of a tie.

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On Sunday, 16 people managed to remain in their chairs for the 10-hour period.

One of them – a woman who said she had managed to avoid taking a toilet break – said she was aiming to win the first prize of a two-day stay at a hot-spring hotel in the port city Dalian in Liaoning province.

On Monday, wet weather saw temperatures in the northern city fall to nearly 0 degrees Celsius – freezing point – so the chairs were moved beneath a flyover to shelter from the rain.

A man wearing a cotton cap, one of the 13 contestants who took part on the second day, said he was determined to sleep until the end because his girlfriend had signed him up for the contest.

“We want to tell everybody there should be one or two days in a year when we do not need mobile phones, televisions or the internet,” the newspaper said in the report.

“We need only to look at the sky, sleep or meditate.”