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Chinese Culture: Learning Everything About Single’s Day

Everything in our world functions because of love. We live for love. Love also makes us alive. People say that romantic relationships give life meaning. It is the essence of living. Everything that we encounter is a series of events to help us grow, prosper, and learn; for love. For that reason, we always celebrate romantic relationships. Every country across the globe celebrates Valentine’s day. Some countries also have a National couples day. In other cities, they have boyfriend/girlfriend days. We are all hopeless for romance.

However, what about the people who do not have a romantic relationship? What about the ones who do not believe in the concept of love? Do we have a celebratory day for them? In China, they do.

Every 11th of November, people in China celebrate ‘Singles’ Day’ 光棍节 (Guānggùn jié) or ‘One’s Day.’ They dedicate the day to commemorate their single friends. Singles’ day originated digitally. It started as an internet fad that branched out into the community. Slowly, it permeated through local culture, other forms of media, and different markets. Eventually, it transformed from a local custom into a national contemporary culture.

Why November 11th?

November 11th, if written into number, is  11/11, which looks like four lonely 1’s. That image perfectly fits the image of singles for it depicts a bare stick or “光棍 (Guānggùn)” which also means ” “single” in Chinese. That is why November 11th become Singles’ Day.

On November 11th, cities are in full bloom to celebrate Singles’ Day.  During this time, festivals and fun fads that fill youngsters and single people with joy fill the metropolitan. Every corner, backway, and even alleys lit up. The trend in blind dating and other ways to find love peak during this time. It is a day that enriches life and romance. In addition, businesses use this day to boost sales. Eminent companies use a clever marketing strategy on this day. They give out discounts in the guise that the person who avails the promo will find the romantic partner they need in their life. That stratagem revolutionized Singles’ day. More and more people avail promos hoping that they will finally land a partner.

Now, Singles’ Day 光棍 (Guānggùn jié) is more than just a period to commemorate people with no romantic partners. It also has become a shopping in China.  Like “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” in America, people greet this day with carts and checkouts. With the Singles’ Day just around the corner, people are starting to make preparations for it. In addition to emptying shopping carts, it is also critical for us to learn how to convey expressions like “Double Eleven” 双十一 (Shuāng shí yī)in Chinese.

With that, let us delve into the examples below:

双十一 (Shuāng shí yī) Double Eleven Day

 (Shuāng) first tone, means double.

 (Shí) second tone, means ten.

 (Yī) first tone, means one.

购物 (Gòuwù) fourth tone, means shopping.


Shuāng shí yī de dōngxi hěn shíhuì


Things are affordable on Double Eleven Day.

Shuāng shí yī Gòuwù jié nǐ mǎi le shén me


What did you buy on Double Eleven Day?

The primary activity on Singles’ day is shopping. With the rise of technology, people now shop in bulk within the comfort of their homes. Most shopping done on One’s Day is online. With the Double Eleven of this year starting on Nov. 1st, people sure splurge on shopping during this year.

Knowing specific customs and cultural expressions is insufficient. Let’s learn more relevant and engaging Chinese expressions.

扫货 (sǎohuò ) Go on the shopping spree  

一有钱就想花 (yì yǒu qián jiù xiǎng huā) Money burns a hole in your pocket  

花钱如流水 (huā qián rú liú shuǐ) Spend money like water  

剁手党 (duò shǒu dǎng) hands-chopping people; big spender

Now that we know Chinese expressions regarding shopping. Let us now delve into how we can engage in a casual shopping conversation in Chinese. However, first, we must understand critical knowledge points.

Knowledge points:

(1) 送货 (sònghuò) shipping, shipment

(2) 包邮 (bāoyóu) free shipping

(3) 退货 (tuìhuò) return

Now that we are familiar with shopping knowledge points, let’s express casual shopping sentences in Chinese.

Wǒ duì gāi chǎn pǐn bú mǎn yì, wǒ xiǎng yào tuì huò 


I’m not satisfied with this product, I’d like to return it.

(4) 退款 (tuìkuǎn) refund


I’d like to have a refund.

(5) 差评 (chàpíng) negative comment

Yīnwèi zhì liàng tài chà, wǒ liú le yī gè chà píng


I left a negative comment because of the poor quality.

(6) 快递员 (kuàidìyuán) parcel people / courier

(7) 下单 (xiàdān) place your order

(8) 七天无理由退货 (qī tiān wú lǐyóu tuìhuò) 7 Days Return

(9) 加入购物车 (jiārù gòuwù chē) add to cart

(10) 团购 (tuángòu) group-buying

On Singles’ Day, we may get the best of deals when it comes to shopping. However, let us not forget that day’s purpose. In addition to splurging for shopping, let us go out and hope to meet someone. Let’s hope that everyone will not stay single anymore.

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