April Fool’s Day in Užupis

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Užupis, Lithuania

On April 1, 1997, a district in Lithuania’s capital of Vilnius declared itself an independent republic: the republic of Užupis.

On the first of April, the republic celebrates its Independence Day.

The “republic”, which isn’t recognized by any other state in the world, sounds like a joke, but the seriousness has never been made clear. Every year since, on the first of April, the republic celebrates its Independence Day. On this day, you have to go through a border checkpoint (you even get a stamp!), and you can only pay with the republic’s own currency, which is handed to you at the border. Užupis also has its own constitution, with articles like: “Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation” and “A dog has the right to be a dog”.

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