Chinese Vocabulary for Singles’ Day
Posted by Lilian Li on 2016-11-11 11:57:04 609

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‘Singles’ Day is coming! Whom will you be celebrating with? Are you prepared to ‘lose your hand’ this day also call ‘E-shopping Festival’ ? Don’t be scared! You won’t really lose your hand, it’s just a metaphor for consuming large amount of money. But why Chinese people celebrate Singles’ Day (光棍节 – guāng gùn jié)? What is this ‘Singles’ Day’ business? Read this article, you’ll know everything about it!

1. Origin of Singles’ Day

The name of the festival 光棍节guāng gùn jié can literally be translated as ‘bare branch’ – a tree with no leaves representing a person with no better half. Celebrated on November the 11th aka 11/11, the four ‘1’ represent those who stands alone with no lover.

Words related to Singles Day

男光棍 nán guāng gùn Single guy
女光棍 nǚ guāng gùn Single girl
脱光 tuō guāng To find a boyfriend/ girlfriend and escape singleness
闪分 shǎn fēn To quickly break up with your boyfriend/ girlfriends and be single again

Be careful, 脱光 (tuō guāng) here does not refer to 脱光 (tuō guāng) 衣服 (yī fu), which means ‘to completely undress the clothes’. In this case, it means 脱离光棍 (tuō lí guāng gùn), which means ‘to escape the status of being single.’

闪分 (shǎn fēn), on the other hand, means to quickly break up with your girlfriend or boyfriend, and enter the ranks of those celebrating Singles Day.

2. How to celebrate Singles’ Day?

On this day, if you are single and have intention to escape the status of being single, you can 脱光 tuō guāng and make announcement of your new girlfriend/ boyfriend. If you are enjoy being single, and prefer to celebrate with other awesome single friends, it’s a great occasion to celebrate it together by dining in the restaurant, singing songs at Karaoke, etc.

Also, if you are one of those who want to 脱光 tuō guāng but don’t have anyone in special at the moment, you can choose to stay at home to avoid the propaganda of Singles’ Day commercial.

On the other hand, people choose this day to 闪分shǎn fēn and have a sudden and fast break up with their girlfriend/ boyfriend.

Also, Chinese netizens will celebrate this day by posting new funny status on their social websites. Here is a very interesting comment on Singles Day:

谁今年陪我过光棍节,我让他明年过父亲节.
ShuíJīnnián péi wǒ ɡuò guānggùn jié, wǒ ràng tā míngnián ɡuò fùqīn jié.
If someone is willing to celebrate Singles Day with me this year, I’ll give him a Father’s Day to celebrate next year.

3. Singles’ Day? No, it’s E-shopping Day!

Since Singles’ Day was never meant to be a sad thing. Just like couples buy each other presents on Valentine’s Day, Singles’ Day is an opportunity to treat yourself, and buy the things you’ve always wanted. So the Chinese internet tycoon Alibaba turned Single’s Day into a huge economic opportunity through a great marketing blitz. Last year, the company raked in $5 billion during the first 90 minutes of the sale, totaling $14.3 billion in just 24 hours largely through its online shopping platforms, Taobao.com and Tmall.com.

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