1. According to interweb lore, some Nanjing University bachelors sighed about their singledom over these breakfast pastries in the 90s.
One is the loneliest number, etc.
2. They decided that 11/11 should be Single’s Day — a fete for the uncoupled to pamper themselves, party, and give gifts to secret crushes.
3. What had begun as cheeky counterculture gradually became one of China’s biggest party days.
Karaoke lounges get booked through, shopping malls offer doorbuster sales, and clubs host major speed-dating events.
4. By 2012, Nov. 11 trumped Black Friday as the world’s busiest online shopping event.
Tmall.com alone raked in $3 billion on 2012’s Single’s Day.
5. And like Valentine’s Day itself, people were growing kind of sick of it.
6. Meanwhile, in another country, folks were getting way fed up with all V-Day related activities.
Some Kuso pranksters in Taiwan (think 4chan sensibilities) started a meme called 去死去死團, which roughly translates to the Go Straight To Hell Coalition. It’s not as threatening to couples as it sounds. When a friend breaks up, you can throw a bash welcoming him/her back into the unofficial group.
8. On V-Days, they organize flash mobs and throw big karaoke parties.
10. Hey, you would too if your country celebrated both Qixi Lover’s Day and the Western V-Day.
Taiwan sometimes also celebrates White Valentine’s on March 14, when women are supposed to buy chocolates for their beaus.
And you thought you were sick of V-Day.
11. On these days, couples are known to dress like this:
Couple’s shirts make pretty brisk business.
12. On both Valentine’s days, restaurants start to look like this:
Some places give out free drinks and desserts if couples kiss on the spot. Others have menus specifically catered for folks on dates. Typically they suggest pork, salads, and citrusy foods for women, and savory, meatier foods for men.
If all of this sounds commercial and overbearing to you — you’re right, it totally is.