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What is Singles’ Day?

While not everyone wants to be coupled up all the time, the idea of ‘being single’ does sometimes carry a bit of a connotation about it.  It all depends on how you see the single life – are you happy to be free from any attachments, or do you crave having someone to laugh with and to love?  Regardless, there’s a yearly festival that’s been taking place each November 11th since 1993 – it’s called ‘Singles’ Day’, and it’s been a staple of Chinese culture for over two decades now.  But what is it – what’s involved – and how on earth do people celebrate it?  Let’s find out.

Singles’ Day – a History

The idea of Singles’ Day dates back to November 11th, 1993. 

This date was picked as it has four ‘ones’ – depicting four ‘singles’ – and it’s thought that students at Nanjing University in China decided to start celebrating the single life in an effort to try and make things a little more interesting.

In the time since its inception, Singles’ Day has become a huge affair in China, with single people marking the occasion by meeting up for parties and blind dates – whether you’re happy to be single, or if you’re looking for love, it seems that there are a number of ways in which you can mark the occasion.

What’s more, both men and women get involved in celebrating their singlehood – even though the name of the celebration has been referred to as ‘Bachelors’ Day’ by some.

Chinese culture and media has adopted the concept of Singles’ Day as an opportunity to discuss and highlight matters of love and relationships in wider detail, though many simply use the occasion as an excuse to let their hair down, to celebrate their singlehood and to mix with other single men and women in their area. 

And why not?  In the years before widespread use of the internet, the occasion was seen as ground-breaking – and it’s a great chance for singles to have fun to this day.  It may not be an ‘official’ event as recognised by the Chinese calendar, but it’s certainly well-appreciated.

Singles’ Day Elsewhere in the World

Why should China have all the fun?  The idea of Singles’ Day has been adopted by many different countries and people, though a date clash with Armistice Day has forced the concept to be moved a little, or celebrated in a different way elsewhere in the year. 

The world is getting more and more confident with the idea of being single – it’s no longer a stigma to be unpartnered or to not pursue long-term relationships. 

The breaking down of barriers in sexual freedom and identity have allowed people from all over the world to express their pride in singlehood, and to celebrate it with like-minded people. 

While it can be an occasion where you look for a partner, it’s just as good an opportunity to celebrate your status – if you’re happy to be free and single, why hide it?

It’s a Massive Shopping Day

Believe it or not, the Singles’ Day boom in China has led it to become a huge shopping event, both online and offline. 

It’s considered to be the biggest shopping day in the world, with sales records having been recorded by many retailers based out East.  It’s also been a great opportunity for malls to hold local galas, events and celebrations – it really has been adopted in Chinese culture particularly as a big festival of shopping and fun. 

Think about Black Friday in the US and in the UK, and multiply it over and over again – and you’re close to how it is perceived in the East! 

For example, over 400 million people viewed a recent Tmall gala counting down to Singles’ Day – that’s over six times the population of Britain alone!

What Does Singles’ Day Mean to You?

Singles’ Day is very much a Chinese phenomenon, and though it has had humble beginnings, it has grown to become nothing less than a national phenomenon!  Singles’ Day should be an opportunity for single people to be proud of who they are, to explore who they are, and to celebrate with others like them. 

With so many holidays based around couples and families, it was only a matter of time before single people of all ages were given their own special day and celebration to shout about. 

Does this mean we’ll start seeing greeting cards racks fill up?  Maybe – but for now – be proud of your status!

If you are single, don’t worry we sell plenty of toys and accessories for you to explore and have fun.

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