Originally called Bachelors’ Day or Double 11, the event is a Chinese unofficial holiday and shopping season that celebrates people who are not in relationships. The date, 11 November, was chosen because the number 1 resembles a “bare stick”, which is a Chinese Internet slang for a single man who doesn’t marry and therefore can’t add ‘branches’ to the family tree.
The holiday has ironically also become a popular date to celebrate relationships (to ‘pair up singles’), with over 4,000 couples being married in Beijing on this date in 2011, far greater than the daily average of 700 marriages.
In recent years, Singles Day has become the largest physical retail and online shopping day in the world. Alibaba shoppers exceeded 213.5 billion yuan in total spend during Singles Day 2018. Rival JD also hosts an eleven-day shopping festival. In 2019, Alibaba said that its gross merchandise volume for the whole event came in at 268.4 billion yuan, an increase of 26 per cent from the previous year.
This year’s event is expected to continue to break records across Asia, as more people stay home and shop online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while those unable to travel overseas for shopping trips are expected to ‘revenge spend’ online.
Seeing Singles Day written everywhere online made you feel lonely? Pockies, a Dutch ‘couchwear’ brand, launched the Heartbreak Hotline with you in mind, to help you through the day. Whatsapp your saddest breakup story to the hotline and a special team will give you single survival tips. “We will show you the benefits of being single,” founder Michiel Dicker says.
Sending a message to the Heartbreak Hotline is free and messagers can expect curated advice suited for their personal situation. “We want single people to feel special and help them in hard times,” Dicker says. But more general advice is also available: “Single life means pooping with the door open, no fights about what movie to watch and having all available snacks to yourself,” explains Dicker, “Who needs cuddling when you can keep yourself warm with a blanket?”
Sharing your story with the Heartbreak Hotline will not only get you advice on how to handle your struggle, you will also receive a 20 per cent discount on the brand’s website. The person with the single saddest single story will get €250 of store credit. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to spend your lonely days in pure comfort?