Did you know that 11/11 is Chinese Singles Day, The World’s Biggest Retail Holiday?

By Lori Perkins



A friend called this morning to inform me that that today was an auspicious day numerogically and I when I asked why, she informed me that it was Chinese Singles Day, which, honestly, I had never heard of before. I like to think that I’m up on these dating/romance-related things, so I was kind of shocked to learn that this “holiday” really burst out last year.


Chinese Singles Day is a holiday when Chinese consumers buy themselves an enormous amount of goodies, mostly on international services like Alibaba, much like Valentine’s Day for couples. According to Wikipedia, it was originally called Bachelors' Day, an unofficial holiday and shopping season that celebrates people who are not in relationships. The date, 11 November (11/11), was chosen because the numeral 1 in Chinese writing resembles a bare stick which is Chinese internet slang for an unmarried man who does not add “branches” to the family tree.


Originally, the date was celebrated as a cynical response to traditional couple-centric festivals by a small group of college bachelors. However, in 2009 Alibaba's CEO Daniel Zhang began to use the day as a 24-hour shopping holiday festival that offered online shopping discounts and offline entertainment. The holiday has since become the largest physical retail and online shopping day in the world.


Ironically, the holiday became a popular date on which to celebrate relationships.


CNN reported that this year’s celebrations could bring in 1 trillion yuan ($140.8 billion) in sales for the first time.


But what I really want to know is where are the romance novels and rom coms for this holiday?