Singles Day or One’s Day or Guang Gun Jie (Chinese: 光棍节 Pin Yin: guāng gùn jié; Wades: kuang kun chieh; literally: bare sticks holiday) is a Chinese pop culture holiday on November 11 for people who are still living the single life.
From Sina By: Zhu-Ran (姝然) 11/11/2009
Starting from this morning, I have been receiving the same text message from my friends: “The Single’s Day is here, little birds are in love, ants moved in together, flies are pregnant, mosquito lost her child, butterflies divorced, caterpillar got re-married, frogs also gave birth, what are you waiting for?” Receipts of such messages finally made me accept the fact that Single’s Day is finally here.
This is my first time getting to know the origin of this day. Once upon a time, there were 4 men, singles, of course. They got together to play mah-jong (麻将) as none of them has ever had a wife, girl friend, lover, or anyone to be categorized under similar titles. They started at 11am and continued until 11pm. The result of the game did not seem so important that day because, interestingly enough, the person who won the game always ended up winning the game with the same card – Si Tiao (四条), which is symbolized by 4 sticks. After a while, the person who lost the most got upset as they could not understand the reason and shouted angrily “Si tiao, si tiao, what exactly does this card represent?!” The other 3 looked at him at ease and replied “It is nothing but a card.” It is not until many years later, the 4 single men finally understood the meaning of the card. To remember the discovery, they set that particular date, November 11, to be the Single’s Day.
Now, single males are called “Guang Guang” (光光), single females are called “Ming Ming” (明明), and couples are called “Shuang Shuang” (双双). The mascot for this special day is 4 you-tiao (油条deep-fried dough sticks ) and 1 bun (包子)，as they can form the image of 11 ∙ 11.
To think about it, there is nothing to fear about Single’s Day. For example, whenever people talk about Beijing, they’d think about the 500,000 “left over” girls and boys in the city. Within a team this big, I am not the only person searching for my Mr. Right. While getting teased by my friends, I am not afraid to stand up for myself and say, “So what I am single? Call me Ms. Single, not Ms. Left Over!”
Yes! I am single, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, and do not need to worry about my significant other cheating on me, or take care of daily life errands, and can blog away at anytime I want without worrying about affecting the other person’s schedule.
My mom, of course, worries for me. Sometimes, when she got a call from my friends, she would actually ask them to help me finding a boyfriend given they are my best friends. Though, I do reflect why I am still single till this day, and then come up with this question – “being a woman, what is the ultimate goal of my life? Getting married? Is that it? Of course not!
For girls like me, who is still not married in their late 20’s/early 30’s, the goal is to be happy with life. I can understand more clearly why as girls age, they will be closely followed by a younger boy. The longer it takes for a girl to get married, the more confidence you can gain as you finally understand the meaning of “rare commodity”, which will lead you to see more opportunities. That is how I comfort girls who are in a similar situation as mine, we shall let the men who can’t get us to marry them to get worried!
If November 11, is to be considered a holiday, then we should treat it seriously. On this special day of the year, I would like to say that we are all running against time, as people and things around us are constantly changing while we are searching for our path. For people who are currently in a relationship, please treasure that person because no one should take anything granted. As to all the singles out there, please treasure every single day that you are live freely by yourself, but also remember that, somewhere in this world, there is this one person waiting for you to appear. Before then, it is not so bad to be single!