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What is Singles’ Day? History and Significance of the world’s biggest shopping event

Singles’ Day (光棍节), referred to in China as Guanggun Jie (管棍节) or “Single Sticks Holiday,” or Double 11 or Shuang Shi’yi (双十一) or Bachelors’ Day is a Chinese event that is generally celebrated by youngsters in China on November 11. It’s not an official public holiday. Chinese Singles’ Day has become the world’s biggest shopping festival, pulling in a large number of deal trackers, single or something else.

As its name recommends, Singles’ Day is based on bachelors and single women. While this holiday is intended to be a joyous event for independent youngsters, Singles’ Day likewise draws attention to different dating-related issues. In Mandarin, this holiday is known as Guanggun Jie (管棍节), or Singles’ Festival. A few people in China and different territories of the world call the holiday Bachelors’ Day. Because of the commercial impact by Alibaba, the holiday has likewise become known as Double 11, or Shuang Shi’yi (双十一). This is because the popular holiday is celebrated on November 11 every year.

When is Singles’ Day?

Since it began in 2009, Singles’ Day has become right around four-times bigger than Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day in the US calendar.

Presently promoted by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, the event is held every year on November 11 and has additionally crushed deals records for Black Friday.

More than twice the many products are sold over the 24-hour period than during the five-day US holiday purchasing binge that closes on Cyber Monday, December 2.

Alibaba set a new Singles’ Day record in 2018 with more than $30.8billion in sales in 24 hours.

That bested the $25.3billion record set in 2017.

Why is it called Singles’ Day?

Singles’ Day is said to have been begun by bachelor students during the 1990s, the thought being to get themselves presents to celebrate being single.

The date 11/11 – additionally written 11:11-was picked because the digits represent a collection of single ones, or “bare stick”, the Chinese expression for the unattached.

During the 90s, the event became an “anti-Valentine’s day” celebration on university campuses in China.

Presently the day has become a shopping craze. Alibaba even flies celebrities to Shanghai to perform at a broadcast gala to mark the beginning of Singles’ Day.

History of Singles’ Day

The vast majority concur that Singles’ Day was initially celebrated at Nanjing University. As indicated by popular belief, students at Nanjing began a festival to praise their lives as bachelors. The celebration was made during the 1990s. The particular insights regarding the establishment of the festival are unclear, however, there are two essential theories.

Theory #1: There is a popular story about four male Nanjing students that played mahjong together at Mingcaowuzhu, an all-guys dormitory. During these games, the students would talk about their desires for the future. They all concurred that they might want to have girlfriends. A few varieties of this story likewise express that the students had this discussion during a game on November 11. Moreover, the triumphant tiles for a few games on this day were every one of the ones. The students took this incident as a hint of something to look forward to about their single lifestyles and formed Guanggun Jie.

Theory #2: Another most loved story among celebrators of Singles’ Day is that of a man named Guang Gun. This man’s real name was Guang Kun, yet his companions renamed him Guang Gun when he was youthful. At the point when Guang Gun was a student at Nanjing University, he fell in love with a young lady. To Guang Gun, this woman was the most wonderful lady in the world. In the wake of dating for longer than a year, the woman was diagnosed with cancer. Despite the unfortunate news, Guang Gun stayed by her side. Guang Gun’s lover in the end passed on Guang Gun’s birthday. This made Guang Gun depressed. When Guang Gun recovered, he started setting candles on the roof of his dormitory to honor his late lover. On Guang Gun’s birthday, Guang Gun’s companions went along with him to pay their respects. After this, the holiday was praised annually on November 11 by students at Nanjing University.

After numerous Nanjing students graduated, Singles’ Day started to be celebrated in a few communities in southern China. The holiday eventually spread to the rest of China. After the national government understood that the holiday could be used for economic purposes, Singles’ Day was perceived as an official Chinese festival.

Shopping Holiday

Singles’ Day is like numerous commercial holidays in the United States, Canada, and different countries in the West. On Singles’ Day, numerous e-commerce sites and shops launch huge deals that attract youthful buyers. Since Guanggun Jie is a holiday that praises independence and the bachelor lifestyle, numerous youthful Chinese individuals purchase luxury items for themselves. From electronics to clothing, numerous goods are bought during this holiday. This makes many significant Chinese and international organizations acquire huge benefits in a single 24-hour time span.

Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce website for shopper products, procured over $14 billion in benefits on Singles’ Day in 2015. These noteworthy deals cause the stock costs of a few Chinese organizations to flood during early November every year. A few investigators recommend that Singles’ Day in China is becoming larger than Black Friday in the United States.

Notwithstanding extraordinary deals, Singles’ Day is an event for celebrating youthfulness and independence. Numerous Chinese individuals go to parties at upbeat clubs or bars with their companions. Karaoke bars are very popular among youngsters during Singles’ Day. Individuals looking for relaxed celebratory activities can go to restaurants that offer Singles’ Day deals. Singles’ Day was initially a holiday for men, however, it currently additionally praises the single lifestyles of women.

Even though Singles’ Day is planned to celebrate the lifestyles of bachelors, the holiday is used by certain individuals to say goodbye to their single lives and discover a spouse. Numerous Chinese youngsters go-to dating parties to find an appropriate mate.

Guanggun Jie isn’t oriented around food, yet there are some main festival foods that individuals eat to commence the holiday. For breakfast, celebrators of Singles’ Day eat four youtiao (油条) and one baozi (包子). Youtiao is a fried dough stick that has a sweet or savory flavor. Since they are sticks of dough, youtiao looks like Yi (一), the Chinese character for one. They are popular on Singles’ Day since November 11 is a date with just ones when it is written numerically. The baozi, or steamed bun, represents the period that isolates the day from the month.

Why does Singles’ Day rotate around shopping and how can it compare with Black Friday?

As Alibaba’s billionaire co-founder Jack Ma began building the organization, he latched on to the idea of rotating a shopping event around a holiday.

At an early stage, the organization’s marketing urged clients to treat themselves in celebration of being single – yet the day focuses on the individuals who are in relationships, as well.

Even though Alibaba – the Chinese compared to Amazon – was the first to link Singles’ Day to consumerism, different organizations have additionally gotten on board with the bandwagon, with JD.com Inc, Vipshop Holdings Ltd, and Amazon.com Inc likewise offering promotions.

A year ago, 140,000 brands partook in the shopping festival – more than 40% a greater number of members than the earlier year.

Retailers care about Singles’ Day because “if you win China, you win the world”.

Black Friday customers buy gifts at a discount in front of the year-end holidays, including Christmas.

In China, Black Friday customers focus on purchasing abroad products at scaled-down costs.

The 11.11 retail affair has become a big business. Chinese retailers raked in $17.8bn (£14.2bn) in 24 hours in 2016, triple the $5.9bn (£4.5billion) spent on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving consolidated in the US.

For retailers, 11.11 is the ideal opportunity to muscle in on the Chinese market.

Various British brands, including Whittard of Chelsea, Marks & Spencer, Asos, and Waitrose, as of now have marketplaces on Alibaba’s Tmall site.

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