Black Friday is an informal name for the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, the fourth Thursday of November, which has been regarded as the beginning of the country’s Christmas shopping season since 1952, although the term “Black Friday” did not become widely recognised or used until the 1980s or later in some regions. (Wikipedia). Black in the case of retailers refers to companies going into the black during the time of year that they have the most trade. Or perhaps to the fact that people can sometimes behave in awful ways during the sales!
Personally, I hate the fact that so many countries have hijacked this tradition, despite the fact that they do not celebrate Thanksgiving. My tv/newspapers/Facebook feed/emails/text messages are full of Black Week, Black Friday Week, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cyber week sales. Mostly out of date and unsellable tat from previous seasons, or artificially discounted items that were not expensive to begin with. I love a good sale as much as the next person but rampant consumerism just makes a mockery of this whole time of year, which is very much family and, if you are religious, religious festivals.
I don’t know which is more ridiculous: the fact that big stores use holidays as an excuse to lure customers, and we get as a result extended holiday seasons (seriously, Christmas from November?), or the fact that the customers follow blindly like sheep. Thanksgiving and Halloween are now celebrated in Europe, even though they have nothing to do with European traditions, and Black Friday is nothing more than ordinary a week of sales. Sometimes I think we are getting dumber every the year…
It’s the rampant consumerism that really bothers me. I wish there was more emphasis on family and friends and less on buy buy buy.
and to matters worse, black friday, for many stores, officially starts at different times on thanksgiving day. for years now, christmas shopping had sunk to new lows.