Original audio (translated transcript below):

Hello, everyone. I’m Kaycee.


Double Eleven has just passed. For those who don’t know, Double Eleven is November 11, also known as the Double Eleven Shopping Spree.


There are so many names for this one day of the year. Where do we start. Well, let’s start with the Guanbang Festival. 11 November, when you look at the numbers, looks like four smooth sticks. The Chinese word for “bare stick” means single. Thus, November 11 becomes Singles’ Day, the Day of the Bachelor. In fact, the origins of Kwan-Bat Day have always been a mystery, and there are various theories. Among the many theories, it is a widely accepted view that the festival originated from the campus culture of Nanjing University. This was probably in 1993. There were similar events like this in different areas at the time, but it seems to have been more active at Nanjing University, and through group activities and media dissemination, Double Eleven became popular in the community.


Speaking of singles, I think of a question that was popular years ago. It was: “Which of the 10 levels of loneliness are you in? At the time, someone concluded that it was just loneliness, some of the most representative events. The first level is a little bit lonely but not particularly lonely, and the tenth level is a super lonely thing. So let me tell you about these ten levels, and let’s see where you are, or which level you think is the loneliest. As these things are all quite competent, don’t take them too seriously, just listen to them, think about them, read them, have some fun. I’ll start by saying that it’s a hierarchy.


Level 1: Going to the supermarket alone
Level 2: One goes to a fast food restaurant
Level 3: Going to a cafe alone
Level 4: Going to the movies alone
Level 5: Eating hotpot alone
Level 6: Going to KTV alone
Level 7: Going to see the sea alone
Level 8: Going to an amusement park alone
Level 9: Moving house alone
Level 10: Going to an operation alone
I’ll share my opinion briefly, I can’t just let people think while I’m not doing anything here, right?


Level 1: Going to the supermarket alone
This is a bit of super enjoyment for me. I love going to the supermarket alone. I don’t really like to go with other people. Usually if I go with friends or family, I do, which is, once I get in the supermarket, I go my separate way. I’ll let them do their shopping and then I’ll run off and do my own shopping. I’ll finish my shopping, check out and then wait for them at the door. So I don’t think it’s a characteristic of being alone, I guess.


Level 2: Going to a fast food restaurant by myself
Going to a fast food restaurant, I can live with that. But, in general, I don’t like to go to any place where I eat alone, I feel quite lonely.


Level 3: Going to a cafe alone
If I want to go to a cafe to do something, such as study, deal with something, or wait for someone, I can do that. But I don’t go to a café to drink coffee alone. This is the same reason why I don’t want to go to dinner alone.


Level 4: Going to the movies alone
In previous years, I would not have gone to the cinema alone. I think at my age now, I can live with that, but I probably wouldn’t want to go too much either. I think cinema is also a group activity. It must be an activity for more than two people. If I were alone, I wouldn’t want to go to the cinema.


Level 5: Eating hotpot alone
Why? I can’t really do this one. I think hotpot is something that is more fun the more people you have. I don’t think this will work, I can’t accept this.


Level 6: Going to KTV alone
KTV is not in my interest in the first place. I’m a terrible singer and I don’t go to KTV if I have friends who ask me out, so naturally I won’t go alone.


Level 7: Going to see the sea alone
I’ve been to this one. I was on a trip to Malaysia. Of course, when you go to Malaysia, you have to go to the beach. It was the time of sunset, and wow, the colour of the sky and the blue sea, it was super romantic and beautiful. I went alone, and there was no one to share the moment with. After I took the photos, I felt, for a moment, that I was so alone. I was so touched that I swore I would never go to such a romantic place alone again.


Level 8: Going to an amusement park alone
It’s the same as KTV, I…if I don’t want to go with my friends, why should I go alone?


Level 9: Moving alone
I’ve done this one a lot of times. I’ve moved many times by myself and I think it’s okay, I’m just a bit tired, but I think it’s normal, I’m not alone.


Level 10: Going to surgery alone
I’ve been lucky enough not to have had surgery, but if I had to go to surgery alone, yes, that would be perfectly fine.


Okay, that seems a bit too thorough an analysis. Let’s move on.


After Double Eleven, it is also the Double Eleven Shopping Carnival. Why is it a shopping carnival? This first originated on Taobao (now called Tmall), a shopping site owned by China’s Alibaba. The first time they held a “Taobao Mall Sale Day” was on 11 November 2009, and every year since then, they have held an event like this on 11 November. Because it was so effective and profitable, of course, it had to be continued.


In April 2008, due to the project’s slow initial development, the original head of Taobao.com left, leaving only about 20 people on the team below. 2009, after then Taobao CFO Zhang Yong took over Taobao Mall, Zhang Yong and his team suggested that a large discount sale could be held in the autumn, modelled on the big Thanksgiving Day sale in the US, to “The goal of the sale was to “make consumers remember Taobao Mall through an activity or an event”, and the sale was finally timed to coincide with the Double Eleven on November 11. “The reason is that November is the autumn and winter season, people need to pick up extra things, while November is in between China’s Golden Week and Christmas, there is no big consumer festivals, the use of Double Eleven in the students, white-collar class appeal, open the young online shopping groups The promotion is free of charge. Despite the fact that the promotion did not charge any fees, many brands eventually declined the invitation, and after the release of the event poster, more than 30 merchants were scheduled to participate in the event, but some brands withdrew one after another, and finally only 27 merchants participated in the Double 11 event, including Li Ning, Lenovo and Philips. In November, which is considered by the industry to be the traditional slow sales season, Taobao Mall’s turnover exceeded 52 million yuan in one fell swoop, 10 times the daily turnover at the time.


It was that way in 2009, are you curious about the Double Eleven revenue in 2020? There’s an advantage to recording late, otherwise you wouldn’t know how amazing this year’s transaction value is. This year’s Double Eleven turnover was 498.2 billion bucks. Scary, right. I think it’s pretty scary. That’s a lot of money, for goodness sake.
Finally, it’s interesting to note that in 2013, some Chinese courier companies rushed in more than 100 planes to handle the shipping of Tmall orders during the Double Eleven period. According to Tmall, the most popular squadron of F16 fighters in the US military, for example, 100 planes would make up six combat squadrons, and 100 planes could already arm two US aircraft carrier battle groups. 100 planes, just to transport some retail items, geez. I don’t think I’ll ever fly 100 planes in my lifetime. I’ll start counting them from now on.


Well, I seem to have said a bit too much today, so that’s all we have for this issue. We’ll see you next issue.

In this episode, I talk about the Qixi Festival coming up in 2 days’ time. Many people have heard of the folktale of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl but did you know the story originated from the ancient constellation system? Let’s have a look. 

Chinese Version

English Version

哈喽,大家好。我是Kaycee。

过两天就是七夕节了,中国的传统节日之一。很多人应该都知道,七夕节是一个以“牛郎织女”这个民间传说为载体,在农历七月初七这天来庆祝爱情的节日,中国的情人节。今年落在8月25号。

2006年5月20号的时候,七夕节被中国国务院列入第一批国家级非物质文化遗产名录。为什么是5月20号呢,大家知道吗?对,就是,520,我爱你嘛。 所以,中国的情侣们一年要庆祝3次情人节。2月14日一次,西方的情人节,5月20号一次,然后就是七夕了。让我想到的不是浪漫,是烧脑、烧钱啊。

好,回到牛郎织女。牛郎织女是一个很浪漫的故事,但是它也有它理性的一面。为什么这么说呢?

对自然天象崇拜
其实七夕的牛郎织女传说最早来源于人们对自然天象的崇拜,古时代,古人把天上每个星座都与地上的实体地理区域一一对应,为了配合占星理论进行天象占测。在古代星宿体系中,“牛宿”由6颗星组成,位于银河的东岸,像两个倒过来的三角形,一上一下,不过上面的那个三角形更大一些,更亮一些。而下面的小三角形正好位于黄道上,这几颗星组成了一个头上有两角,却只有三只足的牛,因此古人称它为“牵牛”。这头“牛”的南边有9颗小星,组成了“天田”,是它耕作的地方,再向南看,在接近南方地平线的地方,是“九坎”9星,坎是蓄水的低地,用于灌溉农田。牛宿的东边紧挨着的是“罗堰”3星,是类似水库的水利设施。“织女”3星位于牛宿的北部,其中的“织女一”星是全天第五亮星,因此又常直接称为“织女星”。人们将“牛宿星”与“织女星”合称为“牛郎织女”。

对时间数字崇拜
然后我们再来看看它的日期。农历七月初七。古时候,古人对数字和时间也是很崇拜的。古代民间把正月正、二月二、三月三、五月五、六月六、七月七、九月九这“七重”列为吉庆日。“重日”在中国古代被认为是“天地交感”、“天人相通”的日子。因此,在这样的日子里人们就多爱去做祈福、祭祀或者纪念活动,以求得幸福、安康。古时候是这样的,然后这些节日一直延续到今天。

我们看哈, 我挑几个大家比较熟悉的节日来句几个例子吧。一月初一的春节、二月二的春龙节或南方管它叫踏青节、五月五的端午节、七月七的七夕节、九月九的重阳节。

牛郎织女
那我们接下来来了解一下牛郎织女的故事吧。牛郎织女是中国人民最早关于星星的故事,它是中国四大民间传说之一,其它三个分别是《梁山伯与祝英台》,《孟姜女哭长城》和《白蛇传》。其实,牛郎织女这个故事是有很多版本的,那既然我是播主,那我就任性一次选一个我喜欢的版本分享给大家吧。

相传在很早以前,南阳城西牛家庄里有个聪明、忠厚的小伙子,父母去世的早,只好跟着哥哥嫂子一起过,嫂子为人狠毒,经常虐待他,逼他干很多的活,一年秋天,嫂子逼他去放牛,给他九头牛,却让他等有了十头牛时才能回家,牛郎无奈只好赶着牛出了村。

牛郎独自一人赶着牛进了山,在草深林密的山上,他坐在树下伤心,不知道何时才能赶着十头牛回家。这时,有位须发皆白的老人出现在他的面前,问他为何伤心,当得知他的遭遇后,笑着对他说:“别难过,在伏牛山里有一头病倒的老牛,你去好好喂养它,等老牛病好以后,你就可以赶着它回家了。
  
牛郎翻山越岭,走了很远的路,终于找到了那头有病的老牛,他看到老牛病得厉害,就去给老牛打来一捆捆的草,一连就喂了三天。老牛吃饱了,才抬起头告诉他:自己本是天上的灰牛大仙,因触犯了天规被贬下天来,摔坏了腿,无法动弹。自己的伤需要用百花的露水洗一个月才能好,牛郎不畏辛苦,细心地照料了老牛一个月,白天为老牛采花接露水治伤,晚上依偎在老牛身边睡觉。维持了一个月,等老牛病好了之后,牛郎高高兴兴的赶着十头牛回了家。

回家后,嫂子对他依旧不好,曾几次要加害于他,都被老牛设法相救,嫂子最后恼羞成怒把牛郎赶出了家门,牛郎只要了那头老牛相随。
  
一天,天上的织女和诸仙女一起下凡游戏,在河里洗澡,牛郎在老牛的帮助下认识了织女,二人互生情意,后来织女便偷偷下凡,来到人间,做了牛郎的妻子。织女还把从天上带来的天蚕分给大家,并教大家养蚕,抽丝,织出又光又亮的绸缎。
  
牛郎和织女结婚后,男耕女织,情深意重,他们生了一男一女两个孩子,一家人生活得很幸福。但是好景不长,这事很快便让天帝知道,王母娘娘亲自下凡来,强行把织女带回天上,恩爱的夫妻就这样被拆散了。
  
牛郎上天无路,还是老牛告诉牛郎,在它死后,可以用它的皮做成鞋,穿着就可以上天。牛郎按照老牛的话做了,穿上牛皮做的鞋,拉着自己的儿女,一起腾云驾雾上天去追织女,眼见就要追到了,岂知王母娘娘拔下头上的金簪一挥,一道波涛汹涌的天河就出现了,牛郎和织女被隔在两岸,只能相对哭泣流泪。他们的忠贞爱情感动了喜鹊,千万只喜鹊飞来,搭成鹊桥,让牛郎织女走上鹊桥相会,王母娘娘对此也无奈,只好允许两人在每年七月七日于鹊桥相会。
  
后来,每到农历七月初七,相传牛郎织女鹊桥相会的日子,姑娘们就会来到花前月下,抬头仰望星空,寻找银河两边的牛郎星和织女星,希望能看到他们一年一度的相会,乞求上天能让自己像织女那样心灵手巧,祈祷自己能有如意称心的美满婚姻,由此形成了七夕节。

怎么样?很浪漫吧?再过两天就是牛郎和织女相遇的日子了,8月25号晚上的时候大家可以抬头看看是否能看见牛郎和织女一年一日的相遇呢?是否能看见这几颗发亮的星星?好吧,那我祝有情人终成眷属。我们下周见。