Zuo Peng did not want to spend this "strange" day alone.
"All my friends are here. We will have a wonderful time today," said the 26-year-old man in his rented house in Beijing. Zuo invited his close friends for dinner.
"I just do not want to spend this strange day by myself," explained Zuo, who is single.
The strange day he mentioned refers to Singles' Day, which falls on November 11. Singles' Day in China got its name from the four "1"s that make up the date. The digits look like four bare sticks, which sounds similar to the Chinese word "guanggun," or "bachelor."
China had some 180 million singles who are looking for their spouses, according to a 2010 survey report jointly issued by the All-China Women's Federation and www.baihe.com, a popular matchmaking website in China.
Xue Yan is among them. But the 30-year-old single woman does not want to compromise her career for a marriage in hurry.
"Singles' Day? I am too busy to celebrate it," said Xue, who works as an interpreter for a state-owned company in Beijing. Xue admitted that her status of being single had made her parents anxious.
Xue said she sometimes feels very lonely and wants to get married. But it is just no easy to meet her Mr. Right.
"I will not get married in a hurry, just for household duties, nor will I have a baby in the future," she said.
With pressures of living in big cities, more youths like Xue choose their own way of life instead of the traditional model of getting married at an early age and having babies.
"Currently, to pursue personal happiness occupies an increasingly important position in the hearts of young people. Thus, the traditional idea of marriage for offspring becomes less popular," said Zhou Xiaopeng, an expert with the Baihe website.
In a diversified society, people should have more freedom in choosing their way of life, Zhou added.
Meanwhile, many young Chinese pay greater attention to the economic conditions of their future spouses.
Nearly 70 percent of interviewed single women insisted their future husbands must own houses before they get married, according to another survey conducted by the China Association of Social Work and the Baihe website.
Twenty-seven percent of the interviewed women also believed that men should secure a monthly income of over 10,000 yuan (1,587 U.S.dollars) before they could talk about getting married, said the report issued in January this year.
"It is an embarrassing thing for me to spend Singles' Day alone, as many of my classmates are married," said Dai Jun, 28, who works in an advertising company in Taiyuan, capital of northern province of Shanxi.
Dai has been busy going to match-making functions. "I've been to several functions, but girls seemed to be more interested in my career and income," said Dai. "But I own neither car nor house."
Geng Yeqiang, assistant professor at Shanxi University, said, "The fact that many women make the financial conditions a priority reflects the change of attitude toward marriage and social values."
"Materialism should not be encouraged. Mutual love is the most important," said Geng.