An old story goes that once there were four single men, leading very boring
lives. None of them were married, or had lovers, or did anything exciting. They
just sat around all day and played Mahjong.
One day they played Mahjong from 11 in the morning until 11 at night.
During the game, no matter who won, the winning card was always the 'four
columns' card (the card shows four independent, parallel columns in two lines).
Even more of a coincidence, it was Nov 11, or 11/11. In order to commemorate the
day, they nicknamed it Singles Day.
Singles Day was first celebrated at various universities in Nanjing,
capital city of Jiangsu Province during the 1990s. It got the name Singles Day
because the date is comprised of four "ones". These college students have since
graduated, and carried their university tradition into society. Singles Day is
now a special day for all fashionable youths.
The main way to celebrate Singles Day is to have dinner with your single
friends, but it's important that each person pay their own way to show their
independence. People also hold 'blind date' parties in an attempt to bid goodbye
to their single lives.
For breakfast on Singles Day, singles often eat four youtiao (deep-fried
dough sticks) representing the four "ones" in "11.11" and one baozi (steamed
stuffed buns) representing the middle dot.
Many singles also choose to say goodbye to their single lives on this day.
Many attend 'blind date' parties and many people choose to marry on this day. In
addition to meaning 'single' the four 'ones' of the date can also mean 'only
one' as in 'the only one for me.' Some people will use this date and this
meaning to tell their special someone that they are the only 'one' in their