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Reason to Celebrate: Part 2

Tongue-in-cheek holidays on the Chinese internet

Though the dust has barely settled on yet another record-breaking round of “Singles’ Day” spending, China’s “Double 12” shopping festival has already begun, with total sales expected to reach hundreds of billions of RMB by the end of today.

First started by e-commerce site Tmall on December 12, 2012, for no reason other than to serve as a consumerist coda to the year, the Double 12 Festival is not the only recently invented “holiday” in China. Previously, TWOC presented a guide to so-called “internet festivals,” tongue-in-cheek (and increasingly commercialized) occasions and anniversaries usually based on homophones of the pronunciation of the date. Find the long-awaited Part 2 to our list, below:

Most Awkward Day 最囧日

When?  February 22

Why? 2/22 contains a lot of the number 2 (二), which, in Chinese, is a slang term for “stupid” or “awkward.”

How to celebrate: Share stories and pictures on social media of the blunders you’ve made. Though there are no further details, a big orgy of awkwardness appears to be planned for the most awkward day of them all, February 22, 2022, which also happens to be a Tuesday (星期二).

Iron-forged Brothers Day 铁哥们节

When?  April 17

Why? 4/17 sounds like 死一起 (“die together”), which loyal comrades are implied to do. The name of the holiday in Chinese usually describes best male friends.

How to celebrate: Embrace your bromance and send a text message to your best buddies.

Men’s Day 男人节

When? August 3

Why? 8/3 is the opposite of 3/8 (March 8), the date of the UN’s International Women’s Day.

How to celebrate: A Qingdao company made headlines in 2016 by giving male employees a day off on this day, and others have reportedly followed. Everyone else can enjoy discounts while shopping on Taobao and Tmall.

Confess Love Day 示爱日

When? September 12

Why? 9/12 sounds like 就要爱 (“just love”).

How to celebrate: Exactly what it says.

Break-up Day 分手节

When? September 13

Why? 9/13 sounds like 就要散 (“just part ways”). This holiday was originally started as a cheeky counterpart to September 12’s “Confess Love Day.”

How to celebrate: Also exactly what it says, but hopefully not right after “Confess Love Day.”

Cuteness Day 卖萌日

When? October 10

Why? The upper radical of the character 萌 (cute) looks like two of the character 十 (ten) put together.

How to celebrate: Change your social media profile photo to something cute, and watch videos of adorable animals made specially available on streaming site Bilibili (which hosted its first “Cuteness Day” in 2015).

Cover image from Wikimedia commons


author Hatty Liu

Hatty Liu is the former managing editor of The World of Chinese, and an award-winning communications researcher. Born in China, and raised in China, Canada, and the US, she leverages her cross-cultural identity to create more empathetic knowledge across national boundaries.

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