With the tremendous cultural and media powers behind our current day celebration of Valentine's Day, it's a wonder that its flip-side equivalent - Singles Day, took as long as it did to morph into a widely observed holiday.
The Feast of St. Valentine's Day first became connected to notions and gestures of romantic love as far back as the 14th century. Meanwhile Singles Day, which was originally created as "Bachelor's Day" in China by a small group of single male university students, was created in 1993. Despite its humble beginnings, Bachelor's Day soon became Singles Day, and was later chosen by Alibaba (one of the largest retailers and e-commerce companies in the world) to be the 24-hour period during which massive online shopping discounts and offline entertainment discounts would be offered annually. Today, Singles Day is the largest in-store retail and online shopping day in the world (yes, even bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
The specific date of November 11 (11:11) was chosen as a symbol of “1s”. A single “1” represents the single person, while four “1s” represent a grouping of singles, the holiday’s chosen demographic.
While Singles Day has spread in popularity to many other parts of the world, not many people here in the United States have heard of it. In fact, there was at first more of an anti-Valentine’s Day sentiment expressed on Valentine's Day itself, than a conversation about a day designed to celebrate one’s single status. Singles Awareness Day (with the acronym S.A.D.) used to be observed on Valentine’s Day itself. But in 2001, to remove the stigma that singledom was a necessarily sad thing, Singles Awareness Day was moved to February 15 (the day after Valentine’s Day) and has since been used to celebrate the joys and benefits of living a solo lifestyle.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 50% of U.S. adults are single, whether never married, widowed, or divorced. That’s about 126.9 million singles. Doesn’t it seem like a no brainer then, to create an annual holiday celebration in our local watering holes just for them? Imagine the number of interested singles who might attend, and who might bring their many single friends with them!
Consider creating an annual Singles Day event in your bar, tavern, or restaurant. You could choose from several dates. Singles Awareness Day is February 15, but it may fall too close to your place’s Valentine’s Day celebration for your liking. There’s also National Singles Day (created by the Buckeye Singles Council of Columbus, OH) which falls sometime during the third week of September. If you go with November 11 (the first Singles Day holiday that was ever created), keep in mind it’s also Veterans Day here in the United States.
Great ideas for food and drink specials to help your single patrons whoop it up in honor of their solo status can easily be found online. Here at WRIK we’re fans of The Tipsy Bartender’s “singles” drink ideas. These bright, colorful concoctions will surely grab the attention of your patrons and are quite delicious.
Hiring a DJ for your Singles Day event? Here’s a terrific starter playlist
- Stronger – Britney Spears
- Ridin’ Solo – Jason Derulo
- Roar – Katy Perry
- Shotgun - George Ezra
- Me Too – Meghan Trainor
- Stronger – Kelly Clarkson
- Feeling Myself – Nicki Minaj ft. Beyonce
- Really Don’t Care – Demi Lovato ft. Cher Lloyd
- I Love Myself – Kendrick Lamar
- Independent Women – Destiny’s Child
- Sexy and I Know It - LMFAO