In the United States on November 11, we remember every single veteran who served our country. Meanwhile, in China that day, they simply focus on every single man and woman.
They call it Guang Gun Jie. It means Singles’ Day or Ones Day. It’s a pop culture holiday that began in the 1990’s at multiple universities in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu.
College students created the celebration date based on the four lonely ones that make up the 11th day of the 11th month. The special day graduated with the university tradition and grew way beyond it. Now Singles’ is recognized by all kinds of young men and women across Chinese society.
Much of the festivities revolve around good food and good friends. Certain foods mark the occasion, but really the main way to celebrate is for singles to enjoy dinner with their other single friends. The tradition makes it important for each person to pay for his or her own meal to show their independence.
Some singles throw blind date parties to try to find a husband or a wife. Other singles take a husband or a wife by getting married on this day.
There is also a major online dating component to this day. Singles shop in what is like an internet supermarket looking for a spouse or their one true love. They pay what equates to $15 to post photos and vital statistics of themselves. What I like is they even are required to show official documents to prove what they post is their true online dating news.
Whether it’s the official Singles’ Day or any other day, the pressure to find a spouse is really on the guys because they greatly outnumber the girls. As you’ve surely heard by now, Chinese society favors male babies. According to government research, by the year 2020, the numbers dictate that more than 20 million Chinese men will be forced to remain bachelors.