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“Please don’t give me good guy card!”— Celebration of Bachelor’s Day in modern China

Talking about celebrations and holidays, you guys have probably already heard of traditional holidays such as the Chinese New Year, the Dragon Boast Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival….etc. Since I’m the Ning and I’m pretty sure there have been many Chinese students writing about those traditional ones, I want to write something that perhaps not many foreigners have heard of. It is a modern holiday with increasing popularity among the younger generation —- the Bachelor’s Day.

As the name sounds, Bachelor’s Day, or Single’s Day is a holiday for single men and women, which takes place in 11th of November. Despite the popularity, no one knows for sure where or when it originally started. There are several versions of the origin for the holiday, but the most widely believed one is that 4 young single seniors from the same dorm in Nanjing University started a weekly discussion of why they couldn’t find a girlfriend on November 11th 1993. As the date is written as 11/11 in numbers, it consists of 4 “ones” indicating the four bachelors in the dorm. It was originally a holiday celebrated by small amount of male students in Nanjing University and eventually grew into a national holiday celebrated by both genders.
The typical celebration of Bachelor’s day consists of eating Bachelor Breakfast, One-Day-Couple play, The “Holy War” (Handing “Good Guy Cards” and protesting against couples on the street), and online shopping.
The Bachelor Breakfast include four Youtiao (deep-fried dough sticks) representing the four “ones” in “11.11” and one Baozi (steamed stuffed bun) representing the middle dot. This is one of the older traditions, which is less practiced today. On Bachelor’s Day, it’s more about the conflicts between couples and singles and the business.
There’s a saying in Chinese: “Any holiday is Valentine’s Day for the couples”. The couples simply celebrate Bachelor’s Day as another Valentine’s Day, where you have to book long ahead of time just to get a hotel room. It’s would be wise to invest on hotel chain stocks before and sell it on Bachelor’s Day.
As many Chinese men are relatively shy compared to men of other nationalities, the Bachelor’s Day is also a perfect occasion for them to express their love for their secret crush. Since almost anything can be settled as just a joke for Bachelor’s Day, it’s the perfect occasion for shy men to try to ask their crushes out. There’s a typical way of asking someone or trying to find anyone for dating called One-Day-Couple play, which is an agreement between two young adults, either acquaintances or complete strangers to pretend and act like a couple for a day. This usually happens between two single young adults who are already attracted to each other but too shy to ask the other out or just two people looking for one-night-stands. I’ve never participated in this activity, but as far as I know, there’s a high possibility that people participating in this kind of activity will end up as couples in the end.
However, such good events only happen to attractive people. For the DiaoSi (an internet slang referring to men or women who have the characteristic of being (1) unattractive (2) poor (3) geeky at the same time) things don’t always turn out good. After being rejected hundreds of times with lines starting: “Well, you’re a really nice guy, but………” Diaosi sarcastically recall being rejected as being “given the good guy card”. Heterosexual Diaosi influenced by a popular Japanese Cartoon called: Test to Baka to Shoukanjuu, started an international non-government organization called FFF Inquisition, or ShineShineDan by Japanese and QuSiQuSiTuan by Chinese (both means Go Die Go Die Group) which their main objective is to “let the heaven’s fire punish the heterosexual heresies and promote the pure homosexual friendship and love”, which is basically separating as many couples as possible. It started in the 21st century and has been increasingly popular throughout Asia. Branches of FFF Inquisition spread throughout China, usually in Universities focused on Science and Technology such as Tsing Hua University and Shanghai JiaoTong University (the equivalent of MIT in China) where there’s relatively smaller proportion of female students, organize the “Holy War”, which includes: (1) buying off the odd number seats in movie theater so the couples can’t sit together (2) Occupying the double seats in libraries, classrooms, and study rooms so couples can’t sit together (3) Handing out “Good Guy Cards” in the front gate of schools for the sarcasm (4) Gather in groups and yell “Couples go die!” to couples they see on the street. Despite once there were some stupid teenagers in Shanghai who actually used real fire to “burn the heresies with the heavenly fire” and hunting of innocent couples, giving them burns on various body parts. The Holy War is usually just a joke and I speak about with sarcasm.
The business however, doesn’t care that much about relationships but sees this holiday as a huge opportunity. Online shops usually give out huge discount on Bachelor’s Day. The total transaction amount of Bachelor’s Day in 2013 reached $5.75 billion, which has set a Guinness Record. It’s something thing similar to Cyber Monday in the United States. Chinese gather around and wait in front of the screen before the midnight where the date changes and the discount officially starts. My roommates and I’ve never been part of this shipping carnival, but I can always hear girls shouting: “OMG!!!! THE SALE JUST STARTED!!!” from other dorms and a continuation of girls screaming and complaining about the slow internet speed as they rushed to get the good deals. All sorts of goods are sold on Bachelor’s Day, but the most common is snacks to enjoy with your single friends. In celebration of the Alibaba’s initial public offering in USA, Alibaba have promised free shopping around the world. Pay close attention if you want something from China!!
In all, Bachelor’s Day is a modern celebration for the love of the relationship and online shopping festival. It is very different in nature from Western holidays, and is one of the subcultures that best reflects the character of younger generation in China.
So, who are you spending your Bachelor’s Day with?
If you’re alone, you can always join me with some snacks and good guy card!

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