What Is Singles Day: How to Celebrate the World's Biggest Shopping Day

Alicia Briggs | October 03, 2023

Every November, the world’s biggest shopping day happens. No, we’re not talking about Black Friday, but Singles Day. Read on to learn what Singles Day is, how it started, and how it became the largest shopping holiday today.

For inspiration on what to buy yourself for Singles Day, explore all VRAI created diamond jewelry.

What Is Singles Day?

Singles Day is a Chinese holiday that happens every year on November 11th in honor of single people. For Singles Day, numerous online retailers (notably Alibaba) offer incredible flash sales. This transformed Singles Day into the most profitable shopping day of the year, globally.

Why Do We Celebrate Singles Day?

Singles Day is a day to celebrate single people. It’s meant to be an empowering holiday where people can take pride in their singleness, and focus on self-care and self-love.

History of Singles Day

While Singles Day is mostly known as a shopping holiday, the history of Singles Day is much more than that.

Who Founded Singles Day?

Singles Day was founded in 1993 by four male Chinese college students at Nanjing University. They wanted to create a fun, empowering holiday that celebrated being single. November 11th was chosen because the numeric date is four single ones (11/11), to represent the four of them.

From there, Singles Day became known throughout universities and the country. It became a solidified cultural holiday where single people held parties, self-care days, or spent time with friends.

This drew the attention of Alibaba (the biggest online retailer in China). In 2009, Alibaba held its first Singles Day sale. 27 brands offered major online discounts on Alibaba for singles to buy themselves gifts to celebrate.

What began as a small shopping day eventually grew into the world’s largest shopping day. Today, much like Black Friday, Singles Day sales now take place annually over 11 days. It’s known as the Alibaba Global Shopping Festival. Several e-commerce platforms (Tmall, JD, etc.) now participate across numerous countries. International brands, discount brands, and luxury brands are all a part of Singles Day. VRAI is excited to celebrate Singles Day with our offering of lab-grown diamond jewelry.

Alibaba is credited for merging shopping and entertainment, which is a cultural phenomenon in China. Alibaba turned Singles Day into a televised event with a kick-off gala on November 10th, where major entertainers perform. In 2019, even Taylor Swift headlined.

Singles Day Stats

The money spent on Singles Day has consistently grown since Alibaba started associating the holiday with online shopping sales in 2009.

In 2017, Alibaba set a world sales record with $25.3 billion spent in 24 hours on Singles Day. By then, over 140,000 brands were offering sales and discounts on Alibaba for the holiday.

As of publication, the most recent stats for Singles Day are from 2021. 290,000 brands participated in Singles Day. An estimated 900 million people shopped during the 11 days of Singles Day sales that year.

Singles Day generated an estimated $139 billion in sales, with $84.5 billion earned solely through Alibaba, in 2021. Continued growth is anticipated for Singles Day 2023.

How Is Singles Day Celebrated?

Treating yourself to something you love or want by utilizing Singles Day sales is a popular way to celebrate, but it’s not the only way. Many people celebrate by indulging in the things they love, like a nice meal, or having a party with friends. Other people choose to celebrate Singles Day by having a self-care day, whether that’s booking a massage, or spending time in nature.

5 Ways to Celebrate Singles Day

Buying yourself gifts at a heavily discounted price is one of the best parts of Singles Day. But don’t forget to take this holiday to honor you. If you’re not sure how to celebrate Singles Day, consider the following.

Enjoy a Nice Meal

Make a reservation at a restaurant you’re dying to try. Order everything you want. Bring another friend or have a solo date night.

Book a Spa Day

Pamper yourself by booking a full spa treatment. Get a massage, enjoy the sauna, have a facial, and truly relax. This is a wonderful way to celebrate yourself while taking care of yourself.

Host a Party

Gather all your favorite single friends and have a party. Love comes in all forms. Celebrating platonic relationships with the people we love is the perfect way to enjoy Singles Day.

Take Yourself On a Date

Go to the movies, have a picnic, or enjoy a live show. Take yourself on a date to something you love to do, and appreciate your own company.

Spend Time in Nature

Recharge and relax by enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Go on a hike, walk along the beach, or picnic in the park.

How to Shop for Singles Day

If you’re trying to decide what to buy for Singles Day, consider fine jewelry. Diamond jewelry is often given to signify love and affection, so what better gift to give yourself, to honor yourself?

Diamond jewelry is also an investment. Take advantage of Singles Day sales to shop for beautiful, quality pieces of diamond jewelry for less.

Statement Rings

You don’t need to be married or engaged to buy yourself a beautiful diamond ring. Look for a statement ring that truly represents your style, or wear it as a symbolic token of your commitment to yourself. You can also choose several rings to create your own ring stack and express your creativity.

Timeless Necklaces

Every jewelry collection should include a timeless necklace that you can wear with anything, anywhere. For an everyday diamond necklace, shop for a solitaire necklace or solitaire pendant. If you love diamonds and bold designs, take advantage of Singles Day discounts and let yourself shine in a dazzling Tennis Necklace.

Diamond Earrings

If you don’t have a pair of diamond earrings, Singles Day is the perfect time to invest in one. Diamond earrings are one of the most versatile pieces of fine jewelry. They add just the right amount of elegance and shine to your outfit. Gift yourself a pair of solitaire studs, dangle earrings, or diamond-encrusted hoops.

Singles Day FAQs

Below you’ll find more information about Singles Day.

Which Country Celebrates Singles Day?

Singles Day is a Chinese holiday, but it’s increasingly celebrated throughout the world, especially in Asia.

What Do You Do on Singles Day?

Singles Day is the ultimate “me day.” It’s a time to celebrate yourself, practice self-care, or spend time with your loved ones. It’s also a fantastic day to shop, due to the incredible online discounts offered.

Is Singles Day Popular in the US?

Singles Day is not very popular in the U.S., but some brands are beginning to participate, such as Nike. While Singles Day may increase in the U.S., there are two primary reasons why it may not. With the massive popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, U.S. consumers might not prioritize Singles Day when they have another massive shopping holiday so close together.

Another reason that may prevent U.S. participation in Singles Day is the tense political standing between China and the U.S. Offering more American brands to the Chinese market on Singles Day is not expected to perform well in sales.

How Long Is Singles Day?

Singles Day takes place on November 11th. Singles Day Sales, however, are offered over a two-week period. Pre-sales historically begin on October 24th, with an initial first sales period of November 1-3. The biggest sales day is always on November 11th.

Is Singles Day or Black Friday Better?

As far as revenue goes, Singles Day earns more than Black Friday. In 2021, Black Friday generated $8.9 billion in sales compared to Singles Day’s $139 billion. Even with Cyber Monday sales of $10.7 billion, Singles Day still surpasses Black Friday in sales.

For shoppers, which holiday is better depends on your location. If you live in the U.S., the majority of brands participate in Black Friday sales, not Singles Day. If you live in China or Asia, most brands will celebrate Singles Day.

Does Singles Day Generate More Revenue Than Prime Day?

Yes, Singles Day generates far more revenue than Prime Day. Amazon’s 2022 Prime Day earned $12.5 billion while Singles Day generated $139 billion in 2021.

Is Singles Day the Biggest Shopping Day in the World?

Singles Day is the largest shopping day in the world.

Who Participates in Singles Day?

Singles Day is typically celebrated by those who are single. When it comes to Singles Day sales, over 290,000 brands throughout the world participate in this holiday by offering special discounts.

Celebrate Singles Day With VRAI Created Diamonds

This Singles Day, celebrate yourself with VRAI created diamonds. VRAI diamond jewelry is the only Carbon Neutral Certified fine jewelry available on the market today. Celebrate your beauty and your values when you choose our lab-grown diamond jewelry.

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virtual appointment with diamond expert meeting with potential customers over a call on a computer

Consult with a diamond expert

Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy:

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Speak with our diamond experts and enjoy:

  • Personalized guidance to select your ring
  • In-depth diamond 4C education
  • Exclusive in-store fittings or virtual try-ons
  • Custom design options