光棍节, November 11 – Inspired by the number of ones in the date, November 11th is China’s annual Single’s Day (光棍节 Guānggùn Jié). For once, those who haven’t yet married can celebrate, instead of worrying about, being single.
The day, which literally translates as “bare sticks festival,” was first celebrated at universities in Nanjing in the 1990s. Singles would celebrate the day with a breakfast of four deep-fried twisted dough sticks (油条 yóutiáo), and either an egg or baozi (包子), steamed buns stuffed with meat and vegetables. The four youtiao represent the four ones in the date, and the round egg or baozi represent a period.
The day is usually also celebrated amongst single friends with a “singles dinner,” where everyone goes dutch to show their independence. Many restaurants and clubs also hold blind date parties, where singles can seek out Mr. or Mrs. Right. Other forms of celebration include working overtime, getting drunk and, for those confident enough that their physique can help make this their last single’s day, streaking. – K.D.