Watching a secondary holiday having been ‘born’ is seldom compelling. Most of the holidays on the U.S. calendar were created before I was born. I know there’s a Grandparent’s Day (I had no idea when and looked it up – September 13th this year and Boss’s Day (October 16 this year) and recalled that there used to be a Secretaries Day (you missed this too April 22nd this year) which is now called Administrative Professionals Day. Obviously “secretaries” is archaic today, unless we are talking about desks.
The biggest relatively new holiday in terms of participation is undoubtedly Singles Day – in China.
From Wikipedia a little history of the holiday:
Singles‘ Day or Guanggun Jie (Chinese: 光棍节; pinyin: Guānggùn Jié; Wade–Giles: Kuang-kun chieh; literally: “bare sticks holiday”) is a day for people who are single, celebrated on November 11 (11/11). The date is chosen for the connection between singles and the number ‘1’.
In recognition of the day, young singles organize parties and Karaoke to meet new friends or try their fortunes. It has become the largest online shopping day in the world, with sales in Alibaba‘s sites Tmall and Taobao at US$5.8 billion in 2013 and US$9.3 billion in 2014.
Singles’ Day or Bachelors’ Day was initially celebrated at various universities in Nanjing during the 1990s, and originated from Nanjing University in 1993. It got the name “Singles’ Day” because the date consists of four “one”s.
Singles’ Day serves as an occasion for single people to party with single friends. The holiday was initially only celebrated by young men, hence the name, “Bachelors’ Day,” but is now widely celebrated by both genders. ‘Blind date’ parties are also popular during this day in an attempt to bid goodbye to their single lives.
Some schools of a university put forward a special program to gather singles together for celebration. Singles may take on a bemoaning or self-deprecating attitude for remaining single as a university student, but this has helped curb that negativity.
Once again Chinese online shoppers will spend more on Singles Day than U.S. shoppers will spend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined (US$4 Billion in 2014)! China’s Singles Day ain’t no Hallmark holiday!
Now there is talk of having Singles Day become a ‘holiday’ in the United States. Move over Valentine’s Day? I am not betting on that. How about you?