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!
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.
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.