It is late November, the first grey (sad) days are rekindled, and traditions from the United States are apparent everywhere, the feast of Thanksgiving and, of course, Black Friday.
This time of year is much anticipated in the United States, perhaps more than Christmas because it falls at Thanksgiving and the traditional New York parade, organized by Macy’s.
Black Friday is the day following the Thanksgiving holiday: a phenomenon of immense turnout in stores in the US, a phenomenon now rapidly spreading throughout the rest of the world, and traditionally in USA decreed the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
During this day, thousands of shops and retail chains are committed to offer discounts and promotions of exceptional value. Millions of people in the United States and around the world lurk outside stores well before their opening hours (some will spend the night cramped in a sleeping bag!) ready literally ‘to attack them’ to grab the best deals at opening time
Shops open at dawn, if not earlier, to accommodate the largest number of customers. We leave you only to imagine the horde of people who grab any article that on this occasion is super-super discounted.
It tells of a woman who, to snatch a product from Wall-Mart in Los Angeles, has attacked “customer-enemies” with pepper spray, and of those arrested in England as a result of fights!
From just the endless queues that form outside shops, the name Black Friday could derive. It is a term used by the police of Philadelphia, between the fifties and sixties, to describe the crazy traffic and traffic jams that were created during the sales after Thanksgiving Day. The term has therefore a negative sense, but only for those poor policemen forced to contain the masses: to all the others Black Friday is one of the most profitable shopping days of the year.
The origin of the term is still uncertain. Some would rather refer to the notes on the books of traders who traditionally passed from the red (losses) to black (gains): Black Friday would indicate then a day of big gains for the business.
The sales of this special day are watched with interest by financial analysts because it is a valid indicator of the predisposition to purchase and hence indirectly on the spending power of consumers. We are then to see how this next Black Friday goes at the gates (the next will be on November 27), hoping for more positive indicators to avert another economic crisis.
Allow me now to take a brief step back and talk about the day before Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day, just to make a small topical consideration.
This festival has its origins in 1620, when 102 people including men, women and children sailed from England aboard the Mayflower to America to escape religious persecution. They landed two months later in Massachusetts, where it was easy to get used to the new life. It was only with the help of the tribe of Wampanoag Indians, kind and hospitable people, that they survived. The Indians taught them how to farm and much more important what was necessary for their survival.
The following year, after the first harvests, the settlers invited the Native Americans to a big party to thank them: thus was born the first Thanksgiving, a party born from a very simple principle that we often forget to apply, that of gratitude and sharing. A true example of integration which has resulted in love and not hate, we should always keep in mind because the differences between cultures, peoples and individuals can become a source of growth and enrichment.
So good on Thanksgiving to everyone, absolutely everyone!