Last year when I was in the United States, a friend from India called me over the phone a week before Thanksgiving Day. He requested me to buy a laptop for him on Black Friday. He said that he had heard that on Black Friday electronic goods could be bought at bargain prices. Little did he know about the madness that inundates the United Stupids of America (USA) on Black Friday.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November. Also, traditionally, the beginning of the Christmas shopping season starts in the United States on Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving Day. Most major retailers open their sales outlets extremely early on Black Friday to kick off the holiday shopping season and offer promotional sales.
Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the United States and people celebrate the day with religious fervour.
People get together with their loved ones, invariably devour large amounts of food centred around an enormous roasted turkey, and like angels and saints praise and thank God for all that they have.
But on the following day, the Black Friday, they become United Stupids of America by transmogrifying from angels to demons. They stubbornly gather outside malls, some from midnight on. They while away their time chattering and shivering, undaunted by the bitter winter cold, and wait for the shops to open.
As soon as the doors open, the stampede begins.
People behave like crazed animals. They barge into the malls like raging bulls. They trample and maul one another to buy more stuff that they already have or absolutely do not need; just 24 hours after offering thanks for how much they have.
That is Black Friday for you in the United States of America. No other country in the world can boast of such a frenzied day.
Though Black Friday is not an official holiday, many non-retail employers give their employees the day off, thereby increasing the number of potential shoppers.
Earlier, retailers opened shop on Black Friday at 6 am. However, in the late 2000s, many retailers opened their retail outlets at 5 am, and some opened at 4 am. Big names including Target, Kohls, Macy’s, Best Buy, etc. open at midnight. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, broke the Black Friday tradition in 2011 by opening its store on Thanksgiving evening.
Here is a video clip depicting the madness of the United Stupids of America for you to decide whether you too want to join these berserk folks and avail bargains on Black Friday.
- Black Friday – The Madness of a Lost Society (tvaraj.com)
- Ten things you didn’t know about Black Friday (bbc.co.uk)
- The Facts Behind 16 Black Friday Myths (dealnews.com)
- EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT BLACK FRIDAY IS WRONG (newyorker.com)
- Black Friday (shopping) (en.wikipedia.org)