Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. and Europe's Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I. But in China it's Singles Day, launched in 1993 by Nanjing University students who chose 11/11, with all those 1s, to celebrate being single. When online retailer Alibaba stepped in, the day became a massive e-commerce boom, netting $31 billion last year and putting the entire U.S. Black Friday weekend to shame. Today, Alibaba already grossed $12 billion — in the first hour of shopping.
What else is it known for? If it was founded, as some speculate, to counter Chinese marriage norms, it's failed: Nov. 11 is now a prized wedding date.
Read OZY's Flashback on how cousins separated by WWI found each other.