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An illustration for the Chinese e-commerce holiday Singles' Day
|Significance||Day for singles to celebrate and socialize|
|Celebrations||Shopping, festivals, clubs/bar|
|Next time||11 November 2017|
|Related to||Bachelor's Day, One's Day|
Singles' Day or Guanggun Jie (Chinese: 光棍节; pinyin: Guānggùn Jié; Wade–Giles: Kuang-kun chieh; literally: "bare sticks holiday") is an entertaining festival widespread among young Chinese people, to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single. The date, November 11th (11/11), is chosen because the number "1" resembles an individual that is alone. This festival has become the largest online shopping day in the world, with sales in Alibaba's sites Tmall and Taobao at US$5.8 billion in 2013, US$9.3 billion in 2014, US$14.3 billion in 2015 and over US$17.8 billion in 2016.
Singles' Day or Bachelors' Day, which originated from Nanjing University in 1993, was initially celebrated at various universities in Nanjing during the 1990s. It got the name "Singles' Day" because the date consists of four "one"s. Upon graduating, these college students carried the university tradition into society. Singles' Day has been largely popularized in the internet era and is now observed by youth in several regions outside China as well.
Singles' Day serves as an occasion for single people to party with single friends. The holiday was initially only celebrated by young men, hence the name, "Bachelors' Day", but is now widely celebrated by both sexes. 'Blind date' parties are also popular during this day in an attempt to bid goodbye to their single lives. Some schools of a university put forward a special program to gather singles together for celebration. Singles may take on a bemoaning or self-deprecating attitude for remaining single as a university student, but this has helped curb that negativity.
2011 marked the "Singles Day of the Century" (Shiji Guanggun Jie), this date having six "ones" rather than four—an excuse to take celebrations to a higher level. Shopping promotions were highlighted throughout China and activities were widespread. Although this date is meant to celebrate singlehood, the desire to find a spouse or mate is often expressed by young Chinese on this date, while other love-related issues are discussed by the Chinese media.
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