It's Singles Day! But what exactly does that mean? Photo Credit - Thinkstock
If you're reading this in China, the chances are that you already know a bit about singles day. For readers in the rest of the world, though, the annual Chinese event has remained something of a mystery... until now!
This article will give you everything you need to know about what has become the world's largest online shopping event.
The date: November the 11th, every year.
Origins: Singles Day started as a sort of antidote to Valentine's Day in the 1990s.
Name: Officially 'Singles Day' - but the celebration is also branded by Alibaba as 'Global Shopping Festival.'
What's that?: An ingenuous piece of marketing by Alibaba in 2009. As part of the Global Shopping Festival that year, they offered discounts to single people marking singles day. The connection between singles day and shopping was born.
Is it just in China?: The festival originated in China, but now it's marked pretty much anywhere there are single people! Last year, retailers in over 130 countries offered discounts on singles day.
Is it bigger than Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc.?: Yes - last year, Alibaba (just one retailer) took over $11 billion over 24 hours. For the statistically minded, that's in excess of $458 million an hour or $7.5 million a minute. Oh go on then, it works out as $127,000 a second. The scale of singles day is mind-bogglingly huge.
Was that a record?: Yes - although analysts have predicted the 2016 event could grow by as much as 40 percent on figures from last year.
Do you have to be single to get a bargain?: No - Don't forget that the shopping element of singles day is, in origin, separate from the 'anti-valentine's' element. So grab a bargain regardless of your relationship status!
If you're interested in this article about Chinese shopping habits, you might also be interested in our analysis of what Chinese people like to buy whilst they're on holiday...
Even better here are a few Uk brands offering discounts right now. The White Company is offering 20% off until Monday 14th.
Not to be outdone, even the very British Halcyon Days is offering 20% discounts.