Singletons are in 11/11/11th heaven
It's November 11 and it's singles day, with millions of unattached men and women patting themselves on the back for their independent lifestyles.
The Chinese call the 11/11 date guanggun, which literally means 'bare-sticks' and is a synonym for bachelorhood.
It has been celebrated by single mainlanders for several years.
But this year's event has taken on an extra significance, with the year making the date 11/11/11.
And businesses have pounced on the opportunity to launch marketing campaigns targeting the nation's singletons.
Shanghai's subway operator decided to celebrate the day using its No 1111 train that runs on Line 11, local news portal Eastday.com reported. Passengers will be greeted with 'Happy Bachelor's Day' when they get on and off the train.
Many travellers have also booked trips for today on another No 1111 train, the one heading from Hankou to Qingdao, and on the D3111 train from Hangzhou to Fuzhou. The latter will depart Yueqing station at 11.11am as an additional means of celebration.
Tickets for those two trains have been specially popular, the Wuhan Evening News reported.
But many are also using the occasion to wave goodbye to the single life and get married. In Beijing, about 3,000 couples had made appointments with civil affairs bureaus by yesterday afternoon to register to tie the knot today, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.
The day has also sparked big promotions among retailers, particularly those online.
Leading e-commerce sites, such as Tmall.com, 360buy.com and Vancl.com, are featuring sales.
Tmall.com, under e-commerce giant Taobao, even offered a chance for two dozen lucky shoppers to save 50 per cent on 24 cars.
The number of single men and women on the mainland totalled 180 million last year, according to a report on Chinese people's marriage status issued in December by the All-China Women's Federation, the China Association of Social Workers and the Baihe.com matchmaking website.