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Quick facts

When is it?
Every November 11th
What's the hashtag?
#SinglesDay

China is one of the world’s biggest economic powerhouses in innovation and technology, as much of the United States’s companies have been outsourcing to foreign countries to increase profits. While China has its own economic laws, it has a holiday that not many people in the U.S know about: Singles Day! It sounds strange, but it is a huge part of modern Chinese culture. So, let’s see what it is all about!

Learn about Singles Day

A lot of people get sad about being single. They think it is a negative thing, but we don’t agree! Being single means that you can focus on yourself. Plus, they often say that you need to learn to love yourself before you can love anyone else, right? Being single enables you to focus on number one.

This is something that we should celebrate, not look down on, and that’s exactly what the people of China do! This day has been created so that people can show their pride in being single, and it is a day that is now celebrated in many places across the world.

History of Singles Day

Singles Day is a Chinese holiday that originated from Nanjing University to be a celebration for single people during the 1990’s. The date corresponds with four “ones”, representing four singles. It was originally called Bachelor’s Day due to how four male college students decided on this day to celebrate the idea of being single.

This idea spread to different universities and eventually into mainstream culture, evolving over time as something men and women can enjoy. The holiday serves as a time when people can meet up and socialize at parties, and has also become one of the most popular shopping days in China.

In 2017, Alibaba Group, a multinational e-commerce conglomerate in retail and manufacturing, earned over $25 billion in sales, beating the previous record of $17.6 billion in 2016. This event is four times the size of America’s biggest shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Shopping becomes a source of wealth and entertainment for the Chinese economy, and in 2017, according to Forbes.com, Alibaba says over 15 million products from more than 140,000 brands participated in the holiday, including 60,000 international brands that offered discounts on Tmall, a retail company operated by Alibaba, which increased up from 100,000 the year before. Alibaba also launched a new luxury retail website, JD.com, and opened it’s first automated, robot-managed warehouse to help smooth the transition of the intense sales.

Singles Day Timeline

1993

Singles Day Begins 

Now an important part of Chinese culture, Singles Day began at Nanjing University on 11/11. The idea behind choosing the date was that it is made up of four “ones” or for single numbers (as it was started by four single men). The name for the day literally translates from Chinese as “Four Sticks Day”.[1]

2004

Singled Out book is released 

Throwing a wrench in common thinking, author Bella dePaulo debunks several myths about singleness in her book Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After.[2]

2008

Beyoncé releases song Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)  

The lyrics “If you like it then you should have put a ring on it” become an almost instant sensation and the song wins three Grammy Awards in 2010.[3]

2009

Singles Day Shopping Promotions Begin

Drawing inspiration from American Black Friday, China’s largest online shopping company, Alibaba, sees an opportunity with Single’s Day. The company offers deep discounts and encourages single folks to treat themselves.[4]

2017

Alibaba Sets World Record for shopping 

With a whopping $25.3 billion in sales in just 24 hours, Chinese retailer Alibaba sets a world record on this frenzied day of consumption and consumerism.[5]

How to Celebrate Singles Day

If you’re interested in shopping through China’s retail market, then check out their company online and see what they have to offer. If you’re single, meet up with friends that you know are single and have a dinner party. Maybe join a dating website and meet up with some new potential partners. When the time comes, use the hashtag #SinglesDay as a way to help spread the word about how popular this holiday is on your social media. Maybe even take a trip to China and learn Mandarin or Cantonese to take part in the fun.

There are a lot of great traditions that you can make the most of on Singles Day. For example, you and your single friends can go on a “date” together so that you can celebrate self-love and independence. You can also take yourself out and go and watch a film or enjoy a fine dining meal. The choice is yours! You do not need to feel held back because you are not in a relationship. You can go out for a meal or do anything that you would do with a partner. After all, there is no better company than your amazing self, right?

Another great way that you can celebrate this way is by writing an appreciation list. Who for? Yourself, of course! Write a list of all of the things that you love about yourself, and post it to social media. This could be anything from the fact that you went to the gym or that you made yourself a good meal. Make a list and share it online, inspiring your other friends and family members to do the same thing. We don’t all celebrate self-love or promote it as much as we should, and so today is the perfect day to do so!

Today is also the perfect day for you to splurge on something that you simply wouldn’t do on a normal day-to-day basis. If you have wanted to buy a pair of designer sunglasses for some time now, go for it! If you have wanted to go to a fancy restaurant for some time, today is the day!

Perhaps you want to go on a luxe vacation? You get the point… treat yourself! This combines the shopping holiday element of the day with the importance of putting yourself first and celebrating just how amazing you are!

You can also spend some time reading about this date in history. There are some amazing shopping statistics. For example, back in 2017, $25 billion was spent in just 24 hours. That’s pretty crazy, right? You can also find out stats about the most popular products, how many packages were shipped, and much more! Wellness products are especially popular, and rightly so; you’re meant to pamper yourself today of all days, right?

Singles Day FAQs

Are single people happier?

In the past it has been assumed that single people are not as happy, but a 2022 study shows that single people are happier and more satisfied with life than previously believed.[1]

How does being single affect your health?

Single people may need to pay better attention to their health, as they may be at a slightly higher risk of heart disease, however, they are also more likely to exercise, eat right and gain less weight than those who are married.

Do single people live longer?

Studies looking at the health of singles and marrieds have shown that married men may be slightly healthier and may live longer than single men. But as long as singles take care of themselves, they can live a long and happy life.[2]

How many single people in the world are there?

All around the world, marriage seems to be declining and singleness rising, particularly the percentage of women who have never been married – rising from 3.1 to 4.3 percent from 1990 to 2010.[3]

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