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November 12, 2009

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A day for singles to find 'the one'

BY visiting cinemas and chinking wine glasses, China's singles reveled yesterday, "Single's Day," trying to beat loneliness amid whistling wind and, in some areas, falling snowflakes.

In the country's major cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai, lonely hearts who knew each other on the Internet met and huddled for warmth.

Party invitations were posted in cyber space, calling for the participation of singles. Cinemas provided discounts, encouraging the singles to accidentally bump into "the one" by sitting next to him or her.

In the northwestern Shaanxi Province, Netizens called on local singles to take No. 11 bus at 11 minutes past 11 o'clock to socialize and "find the serendipity."

"Guanggun" festival, or "single stick" day, originated in the 1990s. College students came up with November 11 with all its single digits to celebrate and perhaps wallow in the loneliest number.

"Although there is snow tonight, I prefer to wear a skirt for the party," said a 28-year-old Beijing woman surnamed Ma, who was going to attend a singles-only party staged by a local matchmaker company. "A red skirt would help me stand out in the crowd," she said.

In Taiyuan, capital of Shanxi Province, where snow measured more than 15 centimeters yesterday, singles braved the weather to gather in karaoke bars to give their loneliness a musical outlet.

"It's our day. It's the Valentine's Day for all the singles, isn't it?" said Chen Qing, a Taiyuan white-collar worker and one of the organizers of a party for singles in the downtown. "It's also a good chance to make friends."

Gang Zi, a musician in the northeastern Heilongjiang Province, also turned to music to express his mixed feelings for being single on the special day. "I hope my song 'Good to be single' could give the singles an emotional support," he said. "But I also hope they can stop being single by finding love."

Men and women still waiting for Cupid's arrows in the snowy Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region exchanged snowballs and affectionate gestures in the chilly wind.

"I did not feel the coldness tonight with so many new friends around," said Zhao Hui, 28, who worked with a local bank.


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