Singles’ Day: The 11th of the 11th

November 11: Singles' Day

Single man walking on the beach. Credit: Guiseppe Milo/Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

STATISTICS show that singletons are on the increase in Spain, could today be the day celebrated as National Singles’ Day? 

Have you ever wondered how singles celebrate their status? Today, on November 11, Spain joins in the global phenomenon of Singles’ Day, marked by enticing store offers, according to Onda Cero.

Singles’ Day Origins

Originally a humorous concept by Nanjing University students in 1993, Singles‘ Day is turning into a significant global event, especially for online shopping, thanks to substantial discounts.

It began as a light-hearted exchange of gifts among friends, celebrating their single status, and gradually caught on in numerous Chinese universities.

Understanding the Significance of ’11/11′

The choice of November 11 (11/11) as Singles’ Day is symbolic. In Chinese culture, a single individual is often represented as ‘one’, making 11/11 an apt date for this celebration since it contains so many ones.

For many years China enforced birth control law which limited the number of children couples could have. Now there are many more men than women, which makes finding a partner very difficult.

A Global Consumer Phenomenon

What started as a student tradition has evolved into one of Asia’s most commercial festivals. The e-commerce giant Alibaba played a pivotal role in popularising Singles’ Day, turning it into a lucrative business opportunity. In 2020, the event achieved a record-breaking turnover of 268,444 million yuan which is approximately €35,370 million.

Spain’s Growing Single Population

Spain, too, is witnessing a rising trend in singlehood. Recent data  indicates that the number of singles has doubled in the last 20 years, reaching a historic high of 14 million. This demographic comprises 52 per cent men and 48 per cent women.

Factors such as the pandemic have contributed to this increase, but it’s part of a broader shift in societal patterns.

In this light, Singles’ Day offers a unique opportunity for individuals to celebrate their independence and, perhaps, enjoy some retail therapy at the same time.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.