November 11, aka Singles' Day in China — a sort of anti-Valentine's Day during which Chinese youths celebrate their singlehood and party it up with other single friends. Although it was originally called Bachelors' Day after being started by male students at Nanjing University in the 1990s, the holiday is now widely celebrated by both genders, and is aptly named "Singles' Day" because of the four "ones" that make up the date (11/11).
Singles' Day is not just another take on anti-romance holidays like Galentine's Day, though: Six years ago, Chinese online retailer Alibaba plucked the holiday from obscurity and (cleverly) turned it into an excuse to go shopping for yourself. Now, the holiday has developed into a Black Friday of sorts, and is the world's biggest one-day sale. In the first 90 minutes of sales this year, Chinese shoppers dropped a whopping five billion Yuan (aka almost $790 million USD).
So whether you're interested in the killer shopping deals or the sense of camaraderie, here are seven ways to celebrate Singles' Day with the best of 'em. (Not that you should only embrace being single on one measly day a year, but it doesn't hurt to join in the fun, right?)
1. Treat Yo'Self
As if you needed an excuse to impulse-buy four new pairs of boots. Unless you want to take a stand against consumerism, go ahead and poke around on your favorite online shopping destination to find some particularly worthwhile deals. One of the best things about being single? You don't have anyone to spend money on but yourself (I'm pretending rent and student loans don't exist, OK?).
2. Indulge Your Taste Buds
Is there anything worse than dating a picky eater? On Singles' Day (and every day), you can take the opportunity to satisfy whatever cravings you might be having, whether it's Ben & Jerry's or an extravagant sushi date for one. And you don't even have to worry about your partner sneaking the last bite, or giving you the side-eye for eating a dozen wings in five minutes.
3. Sleep Until Noon
OK, let's not pretend we don't all do this sometimes. Sleeping may sound like a boring way to "celebrate," but anyone in a relationship can tell you that it's exhausting, not to mention the fact that you have to share a bed with someone who might snore or steal your covers. Assert your single-ness by enjoying a nice, relaxing day where you sleep as long as you want without anyone waking you up to ask where the rest of the Eggo waffles disappeared to.
4. Go On A Date
This might sound like a counterproductive way to embrace being single, but if you're feeling up to it, message a Tinder match and set up a spontaneous date. One amazing thing about being single, after all, is the feeling that something great is just around the corner (and if not, you can always try again tomorrow).
5. Plan A Karaoke Night With Your Pals
There's nothing more fun about being single than having no one to answer to (except maybe your mom if she likes text a lot), so use this night to go out and stay out. Karaoke has become a popular celebration tactic for Chinese singles on this day, so you can take a leaf from their book and get drunk while you and your unattached friends sarcastically scream love ballads. If you're tone deaf like me and want to save yourself some embarrassment, skip the singing and head straight to the bar. Hey, it's your day.
6. Pamper Yourself
If you're too broke to do a proper job of online shopping, look for spa deals on apps like Beautified (for New Yorkers) or sites like Groupon. Since November 11 is a weekday, you can usually find great mid-week deals on things like manicures or pedicures, and if you have a little more money to burn, book a massage for yourself. Just because you don't have a partner to rub your back doesn't mean you can't feel even more pampered and relaxed on your own (with the help of a professional).
In case all these options are a little too self-serving for you (to each their own), you can use Singles' Day as an excuse to do something nice for others, even those who aren't single. It feels good to have time to volunteer — at an animal shelter, soup kitchen, or other charity — and it'll add some perspective if you're feeling mopey or self-deprecating about the fact that you're single. There are certainly worse things than not having an S.O., after all.
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