Get the Buzz on "Singles Day" 雙十一
By Georgia A. Lewis 邵洛源
11 min read
Singles Day is a Chinese holiday celebrated on November 11th each year.
Whether you're single or not, Singles Day (雙十一) is a great day--like any day--to treat yourself. The difference between any other day and 11/11 is that 11/11 has become an unofficial global shopping bonanza launched by Alibaba in 2009.
The day was originally started by university students as a way to celebrate being single.
Singles Day is rooted in Chinese culture. The day was originally started by university students as a way to celebrate being single. It later evolved into a day to showcase pushback against the stigmatization of staying single, or choosing to not marry.
This date was chosen because 11/11 represents four ones, or four singles, standing together.
Quite cute, no? ||||
Traditional culture is heavily ingrained in modern Chinese society.
In China today, men are still expected to be independent and financially capable, while women are also expected to be married by a certain age. The stigma of being single is similar for all genders—but there's an added layer of pressure for women of a certain age. It’s no wonder that many singles find themselves in relationships just to avoid societal judgment and pressure from their families or friends. Singles Day was born in response to these prevailing societal expectations.
The single lifestyle is becoming more and more accepted in China, but many still face social stigma for being unmarried.
In the West, singles are generally not judged. In fact, they're often celebrated as being more independent and mature than their married counterparts. But in China, where living alone is still a rare phenomenon for most people and most marriages are arranged by parents or matchmakers, being single can bring about some negative judgment from family members and friends.
Single men face less social stigma than women do because many Chinese have grown up believing that it's better for women to marry early and have children rather than becoming career-minded. On top of this idea is the notion that a man should be able to provide his future wife with financial security before proposing marriage (in other words: he needs money). This has resulted in an increase in international marriage scams targeting wealthy Chinese men—especially those who live on the mainland but still have assets in Hong Kong or overseas as part of their job responsibilities—and/or who work at banks or within finance-related industries like insurance salesmen or insurance agents themselves!
An unmarried woman over the age of 27 is often called "leftover ladies" in Chinese culture.
The term "leftover ladies" (剩女) is derogatory term often used to describe unmarried women over the age of 27. The equivalent Chinese word for "leftover man" (剩男) has been coined in recent years, but the expectations placed on men are much more relaxed.
In Western culture, being single is much more accepted than it is in China, and despite Singles Day not being an official global holiday, many countries are beginning to celebrate. For example, a growing number of retailers in the United States are promoting the holiday as a way to generate more sales and revenue. This is why it is important to understand the origins of the holiday, so that it does not become just another day for blatant and unhinged consumerism.
In recent years, it has grown into a massive shopping holiday that is bigger than Black Friday or Cyber Monday in America.
In recent years, it has grown into a massive shopping holiday proving to be bigger than Black Friday or Cyber Monday in America.
Alibaba is the largest online retailer in China and they launched this event because they wanted to encourage people to shop more online rather than just during traditional holidays like Christmas and New Year’s. By hosting their own version of an American holiday like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, Alibaba hoped to attract even more customers than usual and sell lots of products during this time period… and they definitely did.
In 2019, Singles Day broke the record for most money made in a 24 hour period than any other day in history.
Singles Day is the Chinese version of Cyber Monday in the U.S., and it's bigger than Black Friday or any other shopping holiday across the globe. Singles Days sales can begin before 11/11 and most definitely continue after, leading up to Black Friday, the next shopping holiday in line for… the holidays.
In 2015, online retailer Alibaba made $14 billion in revenue on this day alone.
In 2017, Singles Day was celebrated by over 20 million people who spent $30 billion through AliPay—the Chinese version of PayPal—and their mobile apps. The number of orders placed on Alibaba's platforms during that 24-hour period surpassed both Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, with each second representing nearly four dollars in gross merchandise value (GMV) being transacted per minute.
Singles Day in 2019 broke many records—including making more money in 24 hours than any other day in history… that is a lot of money!
Singles Day presents an opportunity for people to reclaim their single identity.
The popularity of this event has roots in a rejection of traditional views on dating and marriage. It was originally created by Alibaba's founder Jack Ma as an opportunity for people who are single to celebrate their single identity by purchasing goods online with their friends and family members.
Being single is not something to be ashamed of, no matter where you live in the world.
Singles Day is an opportunity to celebrate being single. It's also a chance to be intentional about shopping, consumption, and the world around you.
No matter what country you live in or how you identify, singles day is a great excuse to treat yourself with some well-deserved self care. The sales are there for a reason! Entice yourself with something you may have never purchased for yourself prior.
Here at Potli, we are always pushing for intentional consumption, whether that intentionality is when you are dosing your tea, or indulging in a shopping holiday. This article is important to bring light to a holiday rooted in Chinese culture, but also to stress the importance of mindful consumerism. Treat yourself! But make it the best treat for you and impact on the world around you!
Chinese culture has always been rooted in tradition and family values; but with modern day globalization comes new ways of celebrating these timeless traditions. Potli wants to help people be more mindful about what they are consuming, whether it's CBD products or shopping!
So... to honor Singles Day in our own way, Potli wants to treat ALL OF YOU to a cheeky $11 off sale available for the next 48 hours. Shop intentionally pollinators!