For most, Feb. 14 marks the coming of Valentine’s Day. On this holiday, men perform extravagantly romantic gestures, women receive any combination of flowers, chocolates and/or jewelry and, for twenty four hours, couples are allowed to partake in one of the most socially loathed taboos: Public Displays of Affection.
For the rest of humankind, Feb. 14 takes on a different moniker: Singles Awareness Day.
Singles Awareness Day, or S.A.D. as many call it, is a relatively recent phenomena, but its popularity has taken off as single men and women have embraced the holiday as a way to celebrate their single status or lament their lack of a significant other.
What many of this humorous holiday’s celebrants may not know is that S.A.D. is not just an American conception. Many different cultures already have a version of Singles Awareness Day and some others have adopted the idea and added their own twist to the holiday.
In China, the holiday is called Singles Day and rather than being celebrated on Valentine’s Day as in America, it is celebrated on Nov. 11. To celebrate the holiday, singles often start by eating four deep fried dough sticks called youtiao to signify the four “ones” in the date (Nov. 11 becomes 11.11) and a steamed stuffed bun called baozi to signify the period in the middle.
South Korea also celebrates Black Day, which takes place two months after St. Valentine’s Day. On Black Day, single men and women dress in black and eat jajangmyeon, a dish consisting of Korean white noodles and black bean sauce.
Some restaurants organize jajangmyeon eating contests for singles to eat their sorrows away. Others use the holiday to organize blind dates where singles are matched together to share jajangmyeon.
Since it is not easy to find a place that offers youtiao, baozi or jajangmyeon in the Newton area, what can Eagles do to celebrate Singles Awareness Day?
The first and most obvious option would be to get together with your fellow single friends and have a night out. Your group could consist of both guys and gals, or you can keep it a single gender affair.
You can organize a battle of the sexes with a boys versus girls bowling competition, or go to a karaoke bar and rock out to some T.Swift or Adele.
You can go watch The Lego Movie and eat all of the popcorn you can in the safe, dark confines of the movie theater; or, for an on-campus option, go see Boston College’s own Korean Student Association and Chinese Student Association hold their Annual Culture Show in Robsham this Saturday at 3pm.
Another option would be to take the words of two wise Parks and Recreation characters and “treat yo’self!” Who needs a significant other to get you things? Go shopping at Faneuil Hall or the Prudential Center and get yourself something nice, making sure to take advantage of the Valentine’s Day sales on candy and chocolate.
For those recovering from midterm exams this week, the best option may be to just veg out. Love is nice and all, but sleep is necessary. During the day, just pull up Netflix and go on a movie marathon of your favorite celebrity.
If you need to justify these solitary acts of indulgence, just think of all the money that you will be saving. The average American spends $133.91 on Valentine’s Day. That is literally money in the bank.
For Eagles of a more giving nature, spend the day giving love even if you are not receiving it in kind. Go out and volunteer at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen, or maybe go out and be a secret Cupid by giving out Valentine’s Day cards and chocolates to your suitemates or floormates.
For the more adventurous, go find that person you have been eyeing for months and ask that person out on a date. The worst that could happen is he or she says no, and, if you are lucky, you may never have to celebrate Singles Awareness Day again.