Singles day, a consumerism day but also a self-acceptance day

Initially, I wanted to publish an anti-Saint Valentine’s day movie list, but it is a common subject. When you google these keywords, you find many articles about it. So I changed my mind to focus more on the social and even societal way of these days. 

We always talk about Valentine’s day, but the people who are single by choice or default also need that we talk about them. 

Singles Day around the world
Few Singles days around the world

I asked a few of my housemates if they know if there is a Singles Day in their country : some of them know about the November 11th, but the others, especially the French one, didn’t know about it (for them, it’s the Commemoration of the end of the First World War). Here you can see how something typical for the rest of the world must be different for others just because of their own country’s history. Sometimes, I also received answers like February 13th or 15th; even if it’s not the international more “official” one, it’s also true. Each different answer is accurate because it depends on how people celebrate it or think others celebrate and there is a lot of day !

But my favorite answer is still « Yes, it’s all the days ! ». Since you are happy in your life, you don’t need to be in love or in a relationship. For some of us, it’s simpler to be alone or spend time with our family or friends. 

Being in a relationship must be very complicated sometimes, I don’t want to give you a wrong idea about the love relationship, I know that each one with its own history but sometimes between the distance, the changes (even minimal ones) which can arrive in the life, a lack of communication, a couple can break and some of us don’t want “to undergo” that or even don’t want it any more. 

Let’s go back to the creation of this day, which is not an official one but almost. Even if we aren’t sure, one of the most commonly accepted ideas is that 30 years ago, in 1993, at Nanjing University in China, some students wanted to find a way to break the monotony of celibacy and talk about how honoring being single. 

But one of the main questions is, why this date ? November 11th is not a random date. There is a lot of symbolism behind this choice : 

  • the number 1 symbolizes an individual, a single person
  • 11 is the representation of two individuals finding each other and being together on one side 
  • So two 11 represents 2 (or more) « couples » of two single people finding each other. 

That’s why they chose the 11th day of the 11th month for their day. And that’s also why 2011 was special because of the six ones of the date : they called it “Shiji Guanggun Jie”, which means “Singles day of the Century”. 

When we read the explanation, we think more about the fact this day is for finding someone and it’s not false. For some of them, it’s to celebrate and honor celibacy, but for others, it’s a day to (try) find someone. 

Even if the creation is relatively recent, it’s interesting to see that thirty years ago, people were thinking about normalizing and honoring being single. Now, this day is more like a consumerism day, as Black Friday, than a day to honor. But all such days have become consumption days now : marketing campaigns use whatever they can to sell ! And actually, it’s working because in China, this day is much more profitable than Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Even outside of China, some countries are starting to think about their marketing strategy according to this day. 

Even if we are in 2023, and the minds are beginning to change about celibacy, single people are still stigmatized and even denigrated. The ideals of societal norms such as husband or wife, children, home and even the cliché with the dog remain well anchored. Hopefully, you didn’t need that to be happy in your life. You are the owner of your personal life so it is up to you to decide what makes you happy !

PS : If you know another singles day, a different day to celebrate it, tell us ! We will be happy to learn new things and update the article.

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Post Author: Alex Humbert

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Hi everyone ! I’m Alex, I come from France and I was studying Audiovisual and Cinema at college. I’m really happy to be here to discover new people, new culture. And also to share with you what I love like cinema, photography and many other things.

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