Singles’ Day 2023– what is it and how do you celebrate it? – The Sun | The SunNovember 15, 2023
EVERY year millions of people around the world celebrate Singles Day.
What started as an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration has gone on to become the largest shopping day in the world.
When is Singles' Day?
Contrary to popular misconceptions, Singles Awareness Day is not about self-pity but rather a chance to announce to the world that you are single and happy to be so.
Since it started in 2009, Singles' Day has become almost four times larger than Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day in the US calendar.
Now promoted by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, the event is held annually on November 11 and has also smashed sales records for Black Friday.
More than twice as many goods are sold over the 24 hours than during the five-day US holiday buying spree that ends on Cyber Monday, November 29.
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In 2019, Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba raked in an incredible 268.4 billion yuan (around £30 billion.
Why is it called Singles' Day?
Singles' Day is said to have been started by bachelor students in the 1990s, the idea being to buy themselves presents to celebrate being single.
The date 11/11 – also written 11:11- was picked because the digits represent a collection of lonely ones, or "bare branches", the Chinese expression for the unattached.
The event was initially an "anti-Valentine's Day" celebration on university campuses and to celebrate single people in China.
Now the day has become a shopping frenzy.
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Alibaba even flies celebrities to Shanghai to perform at a televised gala to mark the start of Singles' Day.
Past guests have included David and Victoria Beckham, Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.
Why does Singles' Day revolve around shopping and how does it compare to Black Friday?
As Alibaba's billionaire co-founder Jack Ma started building the company, he latched on to the idea of revolving a shopping event around a holiday.
Early on, the company's marketing encouraged customers to treat themselves in celebration of being single – but the day targets those who are in relationships, too.
Although Alibaba – the Chinese equivalent of Amazon – was the first to link Singles' Day to consumerism, other companies also jumped on the bandwagon, with JD.com Inc, Vipshop Holdings Ltd and Amazon.com Inc also offering promotions.
In 2019, 140,000 brands took part in the shopping festival – more than 40 per cent more participants than the previous year.
Retailers care about Singles' Day because “if you win China, you win the world”.
The 11.11 retail affair has become 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 combined in the US.
For retailers, 11.11 is the ideal opportunity to muscle in on the Chinese market.
A number of British brands, including Whittard of Chelsea, Marks & Spencer, Asos and Waitrose, already have marketplaces on Alibaba's Tmall site.
Are there Singles’ Day sales in the UK?
While it is still in the early stages of popularity in the United Kingdom, some online stores take part in the occasion.
ASOS is an example here, in 2021 ASOS slashed 20% off everything on Singles' Day, including sale items, for 24 hours.
They often only announce their sale the night before on socials.
Do you have to be single to celebrate Singles' Day?
If you're single you don't have to go that far and celebrate it.
But you do deserve a gift and who better than you to know the perfect present to give yourself?
So go ahead and take advantage of Singles Day. You know you deserve it.
After all, there is no one right way to celebrate this modern tradition.
How can you celebrate Singles' Day?
There are many ways you can celebrate this day.
If you’re interested in shopping, then check out the shops as most of them usually have great online deals.
If you’re single, meet up with friends that you know are single and have a dinner party.
You could even join a dating website and meet up with some new potential partners.
When the time comes, use the hashtag #SinglesDay to spread the word about how popular this holiday is on your social media.
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What are the colours for Singles Day?
On this day many people wear green, as it is the complementary opposite of red.
Another popular option is an absence of color (black), to symbolize an absence of celebration.
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