Singles' Day falls on every November 11th, and as the name indicates, this relatively new holiday is one exclusively for people who are still living the single life. I was a bit surprised when I googled 'Singles' Day' on the Internet, to find that China is the only country in the world that has set aside a special day for singles to celebrate their lives. To find out more about this celebration, read on.
Origin of Singles' Day 节日起源
An old story goes that once there were four single men, leading very boring lives. None of them were married, or had lovers, or did anything exciting. They just sat around all day and played Mahjong.
One day they played Mahjong from 11 in the morning until 11 at night. During the game, no matter who won, the winning card was always the 'four columns' card (the card shows four independent, parallel columns in two lines). Even more of a coincidence, it was Nov 11, or 11/11. In order to commemorate the day, they nicknamed it Singles' Day.
University culture 大学传统
Singles' Day was first celebrated at various universities in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province during the 1990s. It got the name Singles' Day because the date is comprised of four "ones". These college students have since graduated, and carried their university tradition into society. Singles' Day is now a special day for all fashionable youths.
The main way to celebrate Singles' Day is to have dinner with your single friends, but it's important that each person pay their own way to show their independence. People also hold 'blind date' parties in an attempt to bid goodbye to their single lives.
Creative celebration 新奇庆祝
For breakfast on Singles' Day, singles often eat four youtiao (deep-fried dough sticks) representing the four "ones" in "11.11" and one baozi (steamed stuffed buns) representing the middle dot.
Many singles also choose to say goodbye to their single lives on this day. Many attend 'blind date' parties and many people choose to marry on this day. In addition to meaning 'single' the four 'ones' of the date can also mean 'only one' as in 'the only one for me.' Some people will use this date and this meaning to tell their special someone that they are the only 'one' in their heart.