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One of the coolest things about living abroad is getting to learn about cultures and norms of so many other countries. In Denmark, we’re lucky to go through each Danish holiday and learn about its history and associated customs. Even how Danes celebrate milestones is unique. For example, in Denmark, your friends tie you down and cover you in cinnamon on your 25th birthday if you’re single. We also encounter holidays and unique customs as we travel the world. It’s always fascinating to hear how people from other countries celebrate holidays differently. It’s especially interesting to learn about the unique holidays of different countries. Earlier this year I met a Canadian couple who was living in China. They told me about a Chinese holiday observed each year on November 11 – National Single Day. It sparked my interest and it’s something I think the rest of the world should embrace.
What is National Single Day?
The Chinese call their November holiday Guanggun Jié. It means “Single Sticks” Holiday. That’s because the number 1 resembles a single stick or a single person and 11/11 is the perfect date to honor the idea. For the young people of China, National Singles Day is a chance to honor being single and treat yourself. It’s even becoming popular with Chinese couples. The idea is to celebrate your relationship as a couple but as two single people forming a union. How inclusive!
How to Celebrate National Single Day
For younger generation in China, National Single Day is a HUGE online shopping day. There are online deals and they use the day to spoil themselves and buy a self-gift. This even includes people in relationships. They buy a gift for themselves that highlights their unique interests and it’s a chance to remember their individuality. In fact, it’s even become a popular wedding day in China because the number 11 unites two individual number 1s.
National Single Day started from some college students in China that just wanted to celebrate themselves. The original day was called “Bachelors Day” but it’s now spread across age, gender and income lines. Popular singles events and blind-dating parties are held on National Singles Day.
The day has also become popular in other areas of Asia. In Europe and the United States it’s been celebrated on 11/11, but that date is also Veteran’s Day in the states and Armistice Day in Europe. These more somber events rightfully take precedent. It’s becoming more common for those in the UK to celebrate National Singles Day on the 11th of March and in the states many singles “reclaim” Valentines Day to celebrate their single status.
What Should You do for National Single Day
Obviously you can take part in the celebration whenever you want to. November, March, February – celebrate yourself and whatever your relationship status is all year. It’s a cool chance to celebrate yourself and practice self care and affirmation. There’s also a lot of online deals because, let’s face it, China is a huge market and retailers pay attention.
Treat Yourself Gifts - 11 Ideas for Self Gifts
Here are some ways that you can celebrate the spirit of National Single Day with 11 (of course) gift ideas for yourself. We had some fun assembling our list of 11 recommendations that you should order yourself for National Single Day. They’re all available for around 25 USD and should universally make you happy whether you’re celebrating your singleness or your individuality in a couple.
Affirmation Cards - Affirm Yourself!
Check out Suzi Barrett’s Drunk History clip – you’ll agree she’s the kind of person you want affirming you!
Adult Coloring Books
Coloring for adults is a great way to reduce anxiety and relax after a stressful day. It always worked when we were kids, right? Well coloring for adults is just as therapeutic. Try it yourself and see how fun and stress-reducing an adult coloring book can be. Spoiler alert – it’s just like when you were a kid and a perfect way to celebrate yourself and boost your mental health. Here are four of the funniest and best adult coloring books with colored pencils that you can have shipped to your doorstep for National Single Day.
Just click the links below for a closer look and pick out your favorite coloring books for grown ups.
4 clever adult coloring books just a click away. Of course, you’ll also need some colored pencils to create your masterpieces. The best part of being an adult and coloring is that you don’t really need to stay in the lines.
Coffee or Tea for One
Celebrate your single life with a single cup of coffee or a single cup of tea. Do it in a way that celebrates your personality and individuality. Even if you’re in a relationship, you’ll have plenty of times where you need a single cup of coffee or you’re the only one who wants tea. Treat yourself to a Marvel-themed single cup coffee maker (Mike has the Captain America one at work). It also comes in Mickey Mouse, Star Wars, Wonder Woman and other styles – pick your favorite.
If you’re more of a tea drinker (or just British), try the Yellow Submarine tea infuser for your solo cup of tea. What could be cooler than a Beatles inspired tea infuser? All you need is love.
Get Yourself a Light Bright
We both loved these when we were kids – they help you be creative when you’re not. Just like a coloring book, it’s a way to make something and revisit your youth to blow off steam. You knew that you needed this, you just forgot (for like 20 years).
It’s also a great conversation piece:
What’s new? Oh not much Mark, but I did just get a new Light Bright, no big deal.
Create a Comfort Food Kitchen for Yourself
Even if you’re not a cook, these two items are awesome to have in your kitchen (that’s the room with the stove in it). Who doesn’t like a little comfort food? Whether you’re single or a couple, you should make grilled cheese for dinner and then have s’mores for dessert on National Single Day. They’re both set up to accommodate 1-2 people. Plus, if you’re single and dating, it’s a great date meal. You can have some fun, show off your creativity and set low expectations for your cooking.
Spa Day at Home - Cliche Alert!
Okay, we know it’s been done – you can find home spa treatment items on every similar list out there. That’s because they’re right though. De-stressing and showing yourself some love it great with at-home treatments. Get a comfortable robe (of course) and a face mask with some bath products and you’re good to go.
These bath bombs are awesome and the company who makes them exclusively employs former refugees. Each box of 12 comes with a thank you card explaining more about the individual who made them.
Book a Solo Travel Experience
Traveling alone can seem scary, but it’s actually a fantastic way to get to your yourself and a unique way to explore. There are a lot of benefits that come along with solo travel and everyone should experience them at least once. Even couples can enjoy a trip together but break off and explore their own interests. Maybe one person loves art and the other likes nature, you can book a couple’s trip and work in your individuality. Mike and I will be celebrating National Single Day in London and we’ll each plan an activity that’s our own interest to share with the other.
Plan your own National Single Day travel:
Get Cozy and Have Fun Doing It
I don’t know about you, but this is the coolest gift I could give myself! It’s just fun – like this entire holiday – and it goes with everything. You should be cozy and comfortable on National Single Day and who doesn’t feel comfortable with a burrito?
Bonus: It also comes in pepperoni pizza. You’re welcome.
Keep a Mindfulness Journal OR a Rage Journal
Journaling is a great way to become more at peace and keep a log of your feelings. A lot of people know that and have kept one at some point in time. You’re also going to have good days and bad days. It may be smart to have a journal for both occasions. We have two suggestions, a rage journal and a mindfulness journal.
A rage journal is for the crap days where you come home and you’re distraught and disgusted with the entire world. We all have those days. You can scream, cry, do yoga, take a boxing class – but a rage journal is a pretty cool solution too. It’s also smart to keep track of things that set you off and eventually learn how to avoid them.
A mindfulness journal is similar but it also encourages you to write about things and topics that can help you grow as an individual. All of the things that you should be celebrating on National Single Day but spread through the whole year. Keeping a mindfulness journal will make you a better and stronger person and put you in touch with yourself. It may seem corny, but if you keep one for a short time and it isn’t working you can always just buy a burrito blanket instead.
A Homesick Candle
This one is especially great if you’re a traveler or have moved away from your hometown. Homesick candles are super cool and cover lots of places that you may have lived or even visited and want to remember. There are places like France and Pittsburgh or you can buy one that smells like Jewish Christmas or New Job. It’s a great gift for yourself and if you want to give a gift to someone you don’t like, buy them the New Jersey one.
A Backflow Incense Burner
Okay, so I’m not really into “science” so I don’t know how they work, but I do know how they look – AWESOME! A back flow incense burner works with incense cones and sticks and gives you all the normal effects of burning incense but with a super cool visual. It can help you sleep, relax and cover up the marijuana odor in any dorm room with smoke that floats down.
There’s a ton of cool designs like waterfalls and dragons and they look really cool.
Happy Singles Day
However you choose to celebrate and whatever you choose to buy, we wish you the best National Single Day possible. A simple idea that emerged from a dorm room in China has grown into an important reminder for all of us. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, you’re an individual that deserves to be celebrated. Some of us are better than others at doing that, but the 11th of November is a good time to pause and do that very thing.
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